Rather than taking a traditional science museum approach of merely explaining the biology of the human body, Potion wanted to explore the social side of science. Visitors don’t just learn about germs, they fight off a city-wide flu outbreak in a race-against-the clock game we designed. They don’t just learn what a carbohydrate is, they frantically assemble three balanced meals for an athlete—or their grandmother—because nutrition means something different for everyone. They learn how to chill without the aid of Netflix in Relax Pods. And, in the true spirit of Miami, visitors dance their way to a better understanding of the benefits of exercise atop a 400 square foot interactive dance floor, which tells visitors just how many calories they burned up from their boogie down. Potion created a high-energy, joy-filled experience that ensures children and their families are learning in unexpected ways.
Tying the whole MeLaβ experience together is Beta—a completely customizable companion that visitors create to accompany their health journey. After exploring a learning zone, visitors can log in at a Beta Station to share what they’ve learned and unlock a new costume or accessory for their Beta. The more questions you answer, the more you can customize your Beta, and the more you learn about yourself: Beta changes as you change. Visitors can even pool their data with other visitors’ and see the results in real time on a giant screen, comparing the crowd’s choices with your own. Before leaving, visitors can set a healthy goal to pursue at home (and inspire others!), and can revisit their goal and their time at the MeLaβ via a personalized web page. Since opening the exhibit in May 2017, over 67,000 custom Betas—and their accompanying health goals, have been created—over 11,000 a month. The Betas not only provide the Museum with a helpful metric to measure the continued engagement and interest of their visitors but they can also update onsite content in response to that engagement.