Mobile Scavenger Hunt
- Mobile Website
- Mobile Scavenger Hunt
Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami
Engaging and educating university students with mobile scavenger hunts
Since 1950, the Lowe Art Museum has served the University of Miami as a teaching resource, and the residents and visitors to greater Miami as its largest general art museum.
The cultural institution opened to the public in 1952 as the first art museum in South Florida. Its 17,500-item collection is one of the most important in the Southeast, with strengths in Renaissance, Baroque, American, Native American and Asian art.
The client initially partnered with Guide by Cell several years prior for Audio Guide services to replace bulky and old antenna-based technology. “The devices were very dated and we couldn’t change them; there was no flexibility,” said Jodi Sypher, the museum’s curator of education. “We were looking for something more modern and sustainable.” After analyzing several audio guide services, the institution chose Guide by Cell for its ease of use and affordability.
More recently, the museum approached Guide by Cell with a request to engage its student population in a fun and interactive way. Museum staff had previously staged scavenger hunts for students, but clues and other content was printed and handed to them. Museum staff wished to make future scavenger hunts more modern and interactive.
Guide by Cell has developed several personalized mobile scavenger hunts for the client. Students are directed to mobile websites that guide them through the museum’s galleries while looking for clues. Midway through, they are tasked with taking a selfie in front of a piece of art and posting it publicly, all using Guide by Cell.
The first scavenger hunt took place during freshman orientation week. “We thought it would be a fun way for them to explore the museum in a less-intimidating fashion,” Sypher said. “I think the scavenger hunt is great. Everyone thought it was fun and easy to use.”
Lowe Art Museum staff praised Guide by Cell’s customer service, guidance and tour development, even when working on a short timeline, as well ease of use for the Guide by Cell mobile-friendly website authoring platform, which hosted the scavenger hunt content, including images and videos.
“It’s no longer a question of providing [technology] as a secondary measure,” Sypher said. “Being on campus, it’s expected for the next generation of museumgoers that there is technology offered. The challenge for a small museum like ourselves is that we don’t have a tech or a digital department. We have to be strategic and smart about how we use technology.” Using Guide by Cell, the museum does not need an IT department to implement engagement tools. Anyone can do it.
She said students benefited from taking part in the scavenger hunts, and became acclimated to the university, the art museum and each other. “It provides social interaction, but at the same time, you can do it by yourself,” Sypher said.
Going forward, museum staff wants to expand to using Guide by Cell’s Mobile Fundraising tools and redeploying Audio Guides for permanent exhibits.