The snow around campus has finally melted, but it lives on in our imagination! The new Arctic Museum iPhone app solves the snowless campus problem by bringing together imaginative play and exploration, physical activity, and technology. The app sends kids on a journey across the ice-covered Polar Sea with Donald MacMillan in search of Crocker Land, an island that was reported to exist near the North Pole.
The app uses a phone’s GPS capability to track players as they make their way around an imaginary northern landscape superimposed on Bowdoin’s Quad. The journey starts at Hubbard Hall (home of the Arctic Museum) and ends at the Morrell Gym. Players trek to locations reminiscent of those visited by MacMillan and his companions, from fossil beds to a cairn built by Robert Peary, all the while keeping a sharp eye out for polar bears. At every stop there are photos and text in the app describing what MacMillan’s team experienced.
The app was built by Inho Hwang ’16, working closely with curator Genevieve LeMoine and IT media specialist Andrew Currier. “This is a new direction for us” reports LeMoine. “We saw an opportunity to create a game that would get kids engaged with history, while also getting them outside and using their imagination.”
The game is suitable for kids of all ages, although parents will want to accompany younger children on their treks. The app is free and can be downloaded from the app store