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developing experiences through prototyping

I was hired by the Ohio State University Linguistics Department to create three educator-facilitated demo carts for the Labs in Life at COSI to accompany the opening of a new major dinosaur exhibition at the science center. University student educators in the Language Lab now use the demos as part of their programming for COSI visitors.


The demos teach visitors about different elements of human and dinosaur communication including types of communication, scientific vs. fictional dinosaur vocalizations, and reconstructions of dinosaur hearing.

dinosaur communication

Through play with toy dinosaurs, visitors explore what "communication" means, from the complex language of humans to the signaling and vocalization of dinosaurs

T. rex & Threat Behavior

Stegosaurus & Defense Mechanisms

Triceratops & Mate Selection

Parasauralophus & Group Identification

prehistoric voices

Visitors guess which of three sound effects match which animal, and are often surprised to find that scientists believe the T. rex probably sounded more like a modern ostrich than the elephant calls Hollywood sound designers manipulate to create movie monsters

dinosaur hearing

Visitors compare inner ear models of humans, birds, and dinosaurs to see what  morphology can tell us about the sounds dinosaurs could (and could not) have heard

creating the demos

These demo carts were developed through an iterative development process that involved cycles of prototyping and revision — check out the evaluation reports below to learn more

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