Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours


School of Education

First Advisor

Ron Oliver


Scitech Discovery Centre is a hands-on science and technology centre located in the city West Complex, West Perth. The centre contains over 160 interactive exhibits including a number of computer-based exhibits that cover topics not easily incorporated in standard interactive exhibits. The problem considered in this study was the observed low percentage of visitors completing the programmes at seven of these computer-based exhibits. The author used unobtrusive observation and survey methods of data collection, for 245 visitors, on sundays over a three month period. The study was to determine two things, firstly the holding power of the exhibits, and secondly, the characteristics that determine holding power. Holding power was defined as the percentage of visitors completing the programme. Analysis of the data showed a range of holding powers from 17% to 77% with further variations according to population subdivisions. The main factors found to determine the holding power of the exhibits were placed in two categories. Internal characteristics were those found within the exhibit and included screen design, programme design, level of interaction and input devices. External characteristics were those brought to the exhibit by the visitor or those already a part of the environment. They included visit timing, topic interest, and the age and gender of the visitors. It was not possible to identify a set of positive or negative characteristics relevant to all computer-based exhibits, but the findings lead to a set of recommendations for current exhibit modifications and guidelines for future exhibit development.