Southwestern Oklahoma State University
The Bark

Interactive Exhibit at Washita Battlefield Site Wins National Award


An interactive exhibit—Touch and See Your Park— at the Washita Battlefield National Historic Site (WBNHS) that was created by Southwestern Oklahoma State University faculty and staff in Weatherford has won the 2017 National Park Service (NPS) Interpretive Design Project Achievement Accessibility Award.

The collaborative project between WBNHS and SWOSU created an interactive exhibit designed to interpret the battle along the Washita River for all visitors—including visitors who have visual disabilities.

The national award is presented to an NPS park or unit to recognize “exemplary” design, construction or renovation of interpretive exhibits, waysides or program materials that incorporate creative uses of technology.

The WBNHS and SWOSU project was the first audio-tactile interactive interpretive exhibit at any NPS site.

Dr. Siriporn Peters in the SWOSU Department of Art, Communication, and Theatre led the project. The research team consisted of Peters; Dr. Henrietta Mann, former president of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College; Assistant Professor Frederic Murray, instructional services librarian at the Al Harris Library; and Kevin Mohr, chief of interpretation at WBNHS. Assisting Peters with the project’s graphic design elements was Angsuemalin Peters, an engineering student at SWOSU. Instructor Nathan Brooks and Brad Bryant of the SWOSU Engineering Department designed and built the wooden stand to display the interactive exhibit, which meets the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.

Funding was provided by organized research from the SWOSU College of Arts and Sciences, Western National Parks Association through the WBNHS and SWOSU Foundation.