National Constitution Center Exhibit
I remembered after class about an interesting poll type exhibit experience similar to the one Simon mentions in Chapter 3 that I participated in. This one was at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, in their temporary exhibit “Spies, Traitors, and Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America” this summer. The exhibit was about the acts of terror that have taken place in the US and how prejudice and fear can disrupt the balance of keeping the public safe and safeguarding civil liberties. The exhibit was interesting and yet difficult to walk through at times due to some of the sensitive objects that were displayed such as Ku Klux Klan clothing.
There were several warnings posted before this section and directly next to this exhibit, and several others, was a touch screen called an Interactive Polling Station, developed by the Gallup Organization. These stations allow visitors to express their opinions by answering questions raised throughout the exhibit about how the nation has responded to these events.
Some of these questions included: Should the government have the authority to deport people suspected of supporting hostile groups?; Is violence by individuals ever justified to bring about social change?; Should the FBI be allowed to investigate groups opposed to the U.S. government?
After answering the question you can see the percentages of how other visitors answered. You can also see the results of Gallup polls from the past asking the same questions.
Unfortunately I was in the exhibit alone the entire time so I couldn’t really gauge how other people reacted to it, nor see if they would have participated with the Interactive Polling Station. Therefore, it wasn’t quite as real as the examples from the book and class where you could look up and know that 40% of the room answered differently, but it was still an interesting experience.
Here is the link at the National Constitution Center website if anyone is interested –