Story Hub for Chicago Children’s Museum

Method Engine, LLC
  • Score Awaiting client review
  • Date Published
  • Reading Time 2-Minute Read

Create a new system to produce a 5 minute video interview of a visitor’s museum experience.

Founded in 1982, the Chicago Children’s Museum (CCM) has grown into a cultural hub in the heart of downtown Chicago, IL. The museum provides art programs, experiments, and imaginative play to over 11 million children each year. The museum is a premier center for creativity and exploration for youth in the Chicagoland area.

When we were introduced to the organization through mutual colleagues, we saw this as an exciting way to serve the community. Based on our past work in the museum space, we were able to develop and implement a new interactive system for CCM called Story Hub. This system is a modernized version of a photobooth, capturing a visitor’s impressions of their experience at CCM in a video interview. It allows children and their families to share their experiences at the museum with family and friends.

We were excited about this project because we were going to be creating a new touchscreen experience. At the time, there was nothing in the museum/exhibitor space we could reference as an example. The Story Hub core requirement was to dynamically assemble a video of the interview that would be sent via link to a designated recipient. Adhering to COPAA Child Internet safety laws added another layer of complexity, allowing museum staff to review select videos prior to release.

One of the bigger challenges we faced was compressing video file sizes and delivering a video link to the recipient in under 5 minutes. The videos had to be protected and were stored on a secure server. We were confident Story Hub would work, and we were very excited by the opportunity to create this unique system.

Story Hub at the Chicago Children’s Museum is a hit. It has since been presented at multiple conferences and generated a great amount of positive buzz throughout the museum and education communities.

It was a project we felt passionately about, and were happy to commit our time and resources to it. We were able to overcome budgetary, technical, and project obstacles to successfully develop the Story Hub experience. It was the opportunity to be a part of something special, something that makes a difference in our world.