Museum Analysis (1)

Part
01
of three
Part
01

Children's Museums - Outside the United States

Papalote Museo del Nino, Seoul Children's Museum, CosmoCaixa, SantralIstanbul Energy Museum, Deutsches Museum, National Museum of Agriculture, The Canadian Children’s Museum, Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, V&A Museum of Childhood, and Pavilhão do Conhecimento are the top 10 international children's museums based on their attendance rate. Below is a description of each museum and a link to its website.

Papalote Museo del Nino

  • Papalote Museo del Nino's website
  • Papalote Museo del Nino in Mexico City, Mexico is one of the top international children's museums because of the number of visitors it receives. The museum is located in the Chapultepec park, which receives about 15 million visitors each year.
  • Founded in 1993, Papalote Museo del Nino integrates parts of the Chapultepec park for interactive activities. The museum includes lego workshops to build cities, a laboratory to produce ideas and build robots, and science activities for children to better understand their bodies. Additionally, the museum has an IMAX theater that can seat 333 visitors.

Seoul Children's Museum

CosmoCaixa

SantralIstanbul Energy Museum

Deutsches Museum

National Museum of Agriculture

The Canadian Children’s Museum

Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology

V&A Museum of Childhood

  • The V&A Museum of Childhood contains a collection of children's items that range "from the 1600s to the present day." Its 26,000 objects include toys and games from the 20th century, which provide visitors with an insight on how children "lived, thought and felt."

Pavilhão do Conhecimento

Research Strategy

We compiled a list of children's museums around the world after carefully analyzing several reports and articles, such as this report from Oyster. Afterward, we conducted research to find the annual attendance rate for each museum. Several reports mentioned the Children's Museum in Brussels as one of the top museums in the world for children. However, after extensive research, the attendance rate and the revenue for the Children's Museum in Brussels wasn't found. Therefore, we excluded the museum from our list.
Part
02
of three
Part
02

Prove or Disprove - Demand for a Children's Museum: The Middle East

The presence of world-class children's museums in the region alongside a large cohort of families with younger kids suggests potential demand for children's museums in the Middle East. However, the current poverty levels in many Middle Eastern countries indicates that the accessibility of such cultural attractions may be limited to a smaller segment of the population.

Presence of World-Class Children's Museums

High Population of Younger Children

  • A more indirect indicator of potential demand for kid's museums in the region is the area's significant population of children.
  • According to 2018 data from the CIA World Factbook, the large majority of Middle Eastern countries have fertility rates of at least 2, while countries such as Israel, Oman and Pakistan have fertility rates of 3, and Iraq and Afghanistan have fertility rates as high as 4-5 children per woman.
  • Additionally, the most recent (2017) data from the United Nations indicates that countries including Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, Turkey and Israel have many households with young kids, given that 85%, 82%, 65%, 56% and 45%, respectively, of households in these countries have children under the age of 15.
  • UNICEF adds that children and young people account for approximately half of the population in this region of the world.
  • Notably, this prevalence of kids and families with children indicates a potentially large source of demand for children's museums in the Middle East.

High Poverty Levels

  • However, poverty rates in the region suggest that a more limited segment of the population may be able to access the services of children's museums.
  • Specifically, the Carnegie Corporation of New York reported in 2019 that well over half (250 million) of the Middle East's 400 million population are either poor or vulnerable from a socioeconomic perspective.
  • Additionally, between 70% and 85% of the region's families struggle to afford necessities such as food, water or housing.
  • In parallel, 10% of the population in the Middle East controls approximately 64% of the region's wealth.
  • As such, it appears that a more limited sub-group of Middle East families may be in a position to afford the benefits offered by a children's museum in the region.
Part
03
of three
Part
03

Prove or Disprove - Museum Experiences: Digital Experiences or Not

Families visit museums to be educated and entertained. Non-digital museum experiences likely do both better. So, it is reasonable to conclude that families would tend to choose museum experiences that were not digital.

Insight #1: Families Value Museums for Learning

Insight #2: People Want Museums to Entertain

Insight #3: No Digital Teaches Better Than Digital

  • To educate and entertain, parents and children place importance on museum experiences that are playful, hands-on, and multi-sensory; that is, not staring at screens. While digital exhibits may be interactive, there is some evidence that non-digital objects teach better than digital ones, such as books versus tablets.
  • So, it is reasonable to conclude that museum experiences that are not digital, interactive, and involve multiple senses meet both parents' and childrens' expectations best for education and entertainment.

Research Strategy

While there has been some work on visitors' expectations for museums, much of it is either not recent or housed by inaccessible academic journals. Inferring a conclusion from marketing advice about drawing museum visitors, however, did not yield a data-driven conclusion but instead series of statements about what to do to attract families. Instead, we built our insights from publicly available documents that were grounded in data or research. Last, we sought information to either refute or support our claims before including them as solid enough for deriving a conclusion.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
From Part 03
Quotes
  • "Museums encourage an intrinsic motivation to learn and a desire for sustained engagement amongst young children. Young children learn through ‘attraction to the real thing’, ‘familiar connections and contexts’, ‘personal and social connections’, and through ‘story and imagination’. They learn through play, inquiry and discovery, and seek out opportunities to exercise choice and personalise the experience when in the museum."
Quotes
  • "Providing an educational experience helps visitor-serving organizations increase visitation."
Quotes
  • "“The tablet itself made it harder for parents and children to engage in the rich back-and-forth turn-taking that was happening in print books,” a researcher said."
Quotes
  • "In the 21st century, schools should not get with the times, as it were, and place children on computers for even more of their days. Instead, schools should provide children with rich experiences that engage their entire bodies."
Quotes
  • "In this approach, the museum may assume the social responsibility idea and respond to the needs of curiosity, entertainment and sharing the same identity and values and it may act as agent of social change as well, without betraying its role of public education and cultural values promotion. "
Quotes
  • "While entertainment value is important for motivating visitation and satisfying visitors, education value is an important metric as well. Striving to be solely entertaining (by our industry’s internal definition/perception of the word) may jeopardize our perception as trusted sources of information, and places that provide benefits to both ourselves and our loved ones."