The NCSE office was recently turned into a time traveling scavenger hunt as a way to prototype a new app-based science outreach activity called Geology Park. This activity breaks new ground for NCSE as it’s specifically meant to help adults as well as young people engage with science, and because it integrates real-world tangibles with an NCSE-designed mobile app. Geology Park also breaks the mold of typical science outreach activities in that participants are able to engage without necessarily needing oversight by a facilitator or interpreter.
While prototyping, we got an explanation of the premise from Director of Community Science Education Kate Carter: a time travel trip to witness the Permian extinction goes badly, as we crash-land and scatter plants and animals from the Permian across the Phanerozoic. It’s our job to identify what’s been lost.
We use the Time Portal app to get information about the creatures or plant life we’re looking for.
And the app also provides measurement clues when we get to each period’s measurement station. The measurement station, in turn, provides its own set of clues about the conditions, such as CO2 levels, in each period.
We’re launching Geology Park with our local affiliates this summer. You can download the Android app now; iOS version coming soon. Please contact Kate Carter if you have questions or want to find out more about getting involved with Geology Park.