Undergraduates Develop Job Skills by Creating Interactive Software for Reserve Visitors

  • Like many visitors' centers, exhibits at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve are largely hands-off.

    Like many visitors' centers, exhibits at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve are largely hands-off.

  • To increase interactive learning opportunities, three National Estuarine Research Reserves worked together to create computer games exploring topics like shoreline erosion, drought, and estuary stewardship.

    To increase interactive learning opportunities, three National Estuarine Research Reserves worked together to create computer games exploring topics like shoreline erosion, drought, and estuary stewardship.

  • Three educational mini-games, including custom artwork and software code, were created in collaboration with University of Delaware undergraduates.

    Three educational mini-games, including custom artwork and software code, were created in collaboration with University of Delaware undergraduates.

  • They encourage stewardship by exploring actions that individuals, families and communities can take to promote ecosystem resilience.

    They encourage stewardship by exploring actions that individuals, families and communities can take to promote ecosystem resilience.

  • The games were installed in exhibit halls at Guana Tolomato Matanzas, Mission-Aransas and Delaware NERRs.

    The games were installed in exhibit halls at Guana Tolomato Matanzas, Mission-Aransas and Delaware NERRs.

This project supported the development of new, innovative visitor displays at three national estuarine research reserves. Guana Tolomato Matanzas, Mission-Aransas, and Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserves partnered with University of Delaware students to produce educational, gesture-controlled computer games installed on interactive screens in each reserve’s exhibit hall. Participants explore the dynamic nature of estuarine systems as they navigate situations involving plants, animals and people that draw from recent research at the reserves and illustrate common issues faced by estuaries across the country. The games offer visitors interactive learning opportunities and encourage stewardship by exploring actions individuals, families and communities can take to promote ecosystem resilience.