While I realize it’s generally considered poor form to start on a negative note, I feel that this point needs to be explicitly made: I had nothing to do with the overall design of this space. After I submitted a design, the members of “The Group” (not one of whom is a designer of any sort) began to make “suggestions”. By the time the meetings were over, not a single element – literally not one – of the original design remained. So I redesigned the interactive components to fit in the Group-designed space.

The first interactive is “Place the Planet!”. Visitors take the Planet Pucks from the storage area and place them into the slots so that they are arranged in order from Sun to Pluto. After all the Pucks are placed, the visitor will be prompted to check her answer. Correct entries are indicated with a green light; incorrect entries are indicated with a red light. If the guesses are not all correct, the “Try Again” light on the control panel will illuminate, and the visitor can make adjustments. If the guesses are all correct, the Check Answer button initiates a six-second countdown after which time the pucks are automatically ejected into the storage area. The second interactive is another “Place the Planet!” game wherein the visitor must arrange the planets from least to most massive.

The third interactive, “Match the Moon!”, consists of two large wheels. On one wheel are printed the images of six planets; on the other are printed the images of six moons. The visitor must rotate the wheels so that the planets and moons match up. After guesses are made, the visitor is prompted to check his answer. The control panel will alert the visitor if his guess was “Correct!” or if he should “Try Again!”.

Please visit Machina Design for an in-depth, technical discussion of these interactives.