Project: Dallas Arboretum - Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden
Client: Dallas Arboretum
Submitted by: Reflect and The Old State

Click here to see Reflect's article and photos from the deployment.

Click here to see one an example of interaction.

The Dallas Arboretum Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden boasts an expansive eight acres of themed learning galleries and will draw close to 1 million visitors annually, with over 120 interactive digital displays and exhibits, running more than 600 educational games in 17 learning galleries, creating a unique learning environment. The digital experience starts upon entry with an interactive Directory Kiosk. The garden features a 500-linear-foot trail, an adventure bridge, a 30 foot tree snag, a canopy walk, a 9,100 square-foot indoor Exploration Center and more. Children can play Crime Scene Investigator to solve plant mysteries and interact with displays and exhibits to learn about the interconnections between people, plants and animals, and can also visit the Globe Theater, an interactive digital globe that shows near real-time weather, global ecosystems, and atmospheric changes of the solar system. 

Find a replacement for the traditional plastic, static signs that were slated for use in the park, focusing on a young audience would have more reaction and engagement to digital screens.  One of the principal goals is to tie educational content and games into specific areas of the park and make those experiences relevant to the plants, rocks, or wildlife present near the screens.  Education experts created curricula, lessons, and content ideas for games that went in each area. Finally, the Arboretum wanted one reliable consistent solution that could be used to control, manage, schedule, and update content and applications for all of the 120 interactive outdoor touch screens.

Product Description & Timeframe:
In early spring of 2013 The Old State created over 980 interactive learning games and applications that brought specific areas of the park to life for children and adults.  Reflect Systems, in partnership with The Old State, designed a seamless interface between Governor CMS and the ReflectView™ digital media platform, creating the interactive framework for all of the touchscreens and associated applications and enabled the ReflectView Publisher and management suite as the CMS within the park. The project required extensive support from both Reflect and Old State field personnel to install, test, and enable the outdoor touchscreens and displays, sourced from MDKS, on the Arboretum’s overlay WIFI network provided by AT&T. The installation went live on October 1st, 2013.

The result of all their effort is an extremely satisfying blend of entertainment and education that will be enjoyed by millions of children for years to come.  This particular solution is currently one of the largest interactive outdoor display deployments in the U.S. set in a public or private space.  The Arboretum has experienced record crowds after the opening of the park and the interaction between children and the interactive displays has been amazing. Further, teachers who are bringing groups of students into the Arboretum can augment their lessons and visit with content and games that tie directly to their learning plans and scope.  Although accurate usage statistics are not available for the system as a whole, the initial feedback from logs indicates tens of thousands of interactions from users in just the few months the park was open in the fall of 2013.  And it is not every day that people in our business get to actually witness users interacting with, and learning from, the screens and systems we install.

 Judges Comments 
  • Nice installation, bound to attract visitors.
  • WOW  what a great use of technology to immerse kids in the learning experience.  Not only does this technology provide a fun way to learn (I bet most of the kids don't even realize they are learning) but it provides a simple way to change out content.  Great job!
  • A terrific way to engage students with nature.
  • Lots of great usage. many different form factors and applications.
  • Great to see such an extensive commitment to digital
  • WOW - Phenomenal!  What a great solution to engage everyone, especially the younger generation.  Great way to engage the visitors.

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