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Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Smithsonian
Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Inspiring an engaged American citizenry through social science.

Participation, commitment, negotiation, voting, protest, and pluralism—these are the themes explored in American Experiments, a suite of hands-on activities at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, developed by the museum in collaboration with the Exploratorium.

Five interactive stations were designed to playfully spark dialogue about American civic life. Do Americans share a common set of ideals? What does it mean to be a good citizen? Visitors engage with each other in lively conversation as they reflect on American history and their own role in creating the nation of tomorrow.

The project included ideation and design workshops, rapid prototyping, fabrication, and installation in NMAH’s new program space dedicated to immersive activities and performances that richly illustrate America’s participatory democracy. Learn more about American Experiments from the Smithsonian's site, or check out this review of the project from The Washington Post.