We designed and installed the electronic system for this interactive mine as part of the History of Mining Exhibit at the Colburn Earth Science Museum in Asheville, North Carolina. Working as part of a team, our objective was to replace an existing exhibit which was simple and bland. The new exhibit was to maximize the use of the space and budget available while showcasing the original minerals as well as some new ones in a captivating and entertaining way in order to motivate visitors to learn about the minerals being displayed.
The exhibit simulates a mine shaft where visitors can view different mineral samples. The dimly-lit “mine” is an excellent place to showcase the museum's phosphorescent mineral samples. To add fun and excitement to this educational exhibit, we mounted a TNT plunger outside the “mine,” then used a strobe light, fog machine, and a thunderous sound system to surprise and thrill visitors with realistic, simulated explosion. Following the blast and special effects, the voice of an oldtimer speaks about the old days of mining in North Carolina, pointing out the mineral samples which are highlighted with white and ultra violet lights synchronized with the narration.