’burg and Beyond

In Lewisburg and far afield, Bucknell’s students and staff make a positive and palpable difference.
Design Realization students gathered near a playhouse
Photo: Emily Paine
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Design Realization students, from left, Erica Weiss ’23, Megan McInerney ’22, Brooke Tuttle ’23, Josie Lippincott ’22, Missy Wrede ’22, gather at the Tree House.
" "Lewisburg, Pa.
When Professor Collin Smith, markets, innovation & design (MIDE), heard that interactive exhibits at the Lewisburg Children’s Museum needed reimagining, he knew the perfect group of innovative thinkers for the task. In December, students in Smith’s Design Realization class added enhancements to the museum’s nature-themed Tree House exhibit.

What They Did
The original exhibit left little to explore for curious and energetic visitors. Activity was limited to a small campfire setup and a treehouse that kids could climb into, with an attached slide for swift and easy exit.

To improve interior and exterior play, the Bucknell students formed two teams that brainstormed and installed fun features such as a jumbo tic-tac-toe game, a spyglass to search for animals in a nearby mural, a rope and pulley to bring items up from below and a hand-cut vinyl river on the floor to guide children from the slide back to the start.

“So now there’s lots of things for kids to get their hands on and experience,” says MIDE major Erica Weiss ’23.

What They Loved
Designing an exciting and educational experience for kids meant tapping into childlike imagination — so the students consulted the experts. “We actually got to take our prototypes to kids at a local elementary school and get their feedback, which was so fun,” Weiss says. “It made walking into the exhibit and seeing kids playing with what we’d built all the more rewarding.”
— Brooke Thames