Date: December 2016 – April 2017
Partner: Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Venue: Canada Aviation and Space Museum – map
Project Members: Hayley Mae Jones
The Canada Aviation and Space Museum in partnership with the Cubes in Space Program from idoodlelearning, produced two contests, programming and exhibit pieces. This project’s main goal is to promote the Cubes in Space competition which provides visitors with a rare and exciting opportunity to take part in real-life ‘space’ science, culminating in one lucky individual (aged 11-18 years old) sending their science experiment into space on a sounding rocket. This competition teaches visitors how to problem solve (fitting an experiment inside a clear plastic cube that is 4x4x4 cm), while outlining the challenges scientists face when dealing with the harsh environment of space.
The multiple components of this project all different intended target audiences and ages:
The Canada Aviation and Space Museum was ideal in the implementation of this project as it houses some of the most important Canadian innovations within the aerospace industry. This backdrop was essential in the promotion of the competition and the implementation of programming/ the global launch events.
This project was realized through the partnership of idoodlelearning and Cubes in Space who provided the Canada Aviation and Space Museum with a slot on a sounding rocket to transport one mission patch and one science experiment into Space. Apart from providing CASM a slot on the sounding rocket, members from idoodlelearning/Cubes in Space also helped run the Global Launch Events.
Robert Sowah, from idoodlelearning, first reached out to the Museum in early 2016. Due to the multiple components of the project planning occurred in stages. First, the planning and preparation of the Global Launch Events occurred. Upon completion of the Events, the Exhibit Display/signage and web text were planned and developed. Following this, the Museum programming, Mission Patch, and handouts were developed, and provided to the public. All of the programming ended on March 19th, 2017. The only ongoing element of the project is the Cubes in Space experiment competition which is still active on the Museum website until April 22nd.
The Cubes in Space competition was promoted on the Museum floor through program signage and a tall exhibit display. The exhibit display used the same style of panels as the current pods within the Museum’s Life in Orbit exhibit (the space section within the Museum) to ensure that the project looked fully integrated within the Museum. This was done without disturbing the other elements of the Space section (which was important as this section was created in partnership with the Canadian Space Agency). The exhibit display was necessary to communicate to the physicality of the competition. The competition required any science experiment sent inside the sounding rocket to fit within a 4x4x4 cm cube. The exhibit display housed one of these cubes, thereby showing the visitors how there was a limited amount of room on the sounding rocket.
Social Media marketing was also conducted through both the Cubes in Space social media team, and through the Museum’s Public Affairs department. The Social Media campaign primarily used Twitter and Facebook as their main platforms. This marketing was conducted during the Global Launch Events and over the Quebec and Ontario March Break. Traditional forms of marketing were conducted through handouts, and through advertisements on the Canada Aviation and Space Museum’s website. The Cubes in Space museum programming was also a form of marketing for the competition, as it encouraged visitors to participate.
Overall the Cubes in Space project was successful with the in-Museum programming having over 500 participants, and the mission patch having over 150 submissions. The Museum’s social media campaign was the fourth most successful campaign of the 2015-2016 fiscal year with the Facebook livestream having 2,184 views (surpassing the average of 875 views), and with a post reach of 13,814. This being said, the Cubes in Space experiment competition only has two submissions to date. Within the 2017-2018 Fiscal year, the Museum will be discussing the potential continuation of this program for the next three years, in addition to creating a potential summer camp. However, this was not included within the scope of the project for the University of Toronto.
This project could not have been accomplished without the support of the staff at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, in addition to the aid provided by idoodlelearninng and the Cubes in Space initiative. Without these three institution’s collaboration, the Cubes in Space project would not have been possible.