Thea Awards Recipients

Thea Awards 2021

Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement: Touring Exhibition, Limited Budget

Amazing Pollinators

Pollination in nature is about more than just bees. Birds, butterflies and even the wind can pollinate flowers to help nature flourish. People of all ages can practice being all of those and more at the hands-on, immersive, traveling exhibit “Amazing Pollinators,” that highlights pollinators’ benefits to Earth’s ecosystems. The exhibit takes the form of a clever, interactive game that is arranged in a colorful maze designed to suit tweens, teens and adults. Within this immersive maze, visitors can hunt down their different flowers and role-play as pollinators. Utilizing their personal “Mission Boards,” visitors interact in various ways with the exhibit to see how bugs see flowers - or to “become” butterflies, bees, birds or bats, to learn how each impacts the world around them. At the same time, they will be scoring points through their activities, with the goal of achieving the level of a “super pollinator.”

Visitors can embark on up to 48 unique, short role-play missions throughout the maze, which features a labyrinthine set of concentric rings representing nine environments, holding 195 interactive flowers of 60 plant species in need of pollination. The 48 missions feature eight different types of pollinators from the venerable Honey Bee, to the majestic Monarch Butterfly, and even the less-appreciated House Fly.

This cleverly conceived exhibit successfully sparks interest in the natural world, in young visitors as well as their parents, and is meant to spur at-home observation of plants and pollinators as well. Through an immersive game and analog-style interactive elements, it educates its audience on the importance of pollinators and the role they play across the planet. Overall, Amazing Pollinators provides an astounding magnitude of science and nature education in a cohesive, fun exhibit that engages all ages to play the game, score points, and learn. Its design is consistent in its playful graphic and physical composition. The analog-style interactivity is a welcome counterpoint to today’s media- and digital technology-saturated world. It is a remarkable achievement that delivers an impressive amount of experience and interpretive content.


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