Thea Awards Recipients

Thea Awards 2015

Thea Award - Museum exhibit on a limited budget

Nature Lab, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, USA

The Nature Lab is a permanent, 6,000 square foot exhibit where visitors discover how truly wild Los Angeles can be. This fun, interactive exhibit allows visitors to learn and be surprised by LA’s unique biodiversity, fulfilling The Natural History Museum’s mission to inspire wonder, discovery and responsibility for our natural and cultural worlds. Visitors can engage in the scientific exploration of LA as a biodiversity hotspot through interactions with volunteers sorting insect material (like a “Genius Bar” with scientists) from the Museums BIOSCAN project, demonstrations by Museum curators, and hands-on interactives allowing visitors to be in the middle of their own scientific investigation that increases their observation skills while learning scientific methods. The purpose of the Nature Lab is to engage the Los Angeles community in becoming “Citizen Scientists.”

Committee members who visited the Nature Lab were impressed. The NHM, with a limited budget of $4.8 million, designed compelling stories around plants and animals found in and around LA, then employed themed entertainment elements including Memory Mapping storytelling graphics, media, sound, and hands-on interactive displays to immerse the visitor in discovery. Real time social media allows visitors to upload their discoveries to be featured in the gallery. Live animals and plants add a layer of real science to the Lab.

Award Credits