The team have worked together to use quick response codes and smartphone tech to improve interactivity.
High school students who are Warren Consolidated Schools Macomb Mathematics Science Technology Center (MMSTC) Ecology Club members have now implemented QR codes at the Sterling Heights Nature Center to help visitors to be able to use their smartphones in order to discover more about the animals that they may see there.
The hope is to help to boost the learning and interactivity that is available through the nature center.
When a visitor uses a smartphone or a tablet to scan the QR codes, they are automatically directed to a website created by the MMSTC students. Depending on the barcode that was scanned, the user will be directed to a page that will be relevant specifically to the exhibit that they are viewing. Each exhibit also allows a user to take a quiz to see how much they have taken in from what they have learned.
The QR codes at the nature center can be scanned using any barcode reader app already installed on the smartphone.
The Ecology Club is sponsored by MMSTC math teacher, Christine Kincaid Dewey, and it has about 25 members at the moment. According to Michael McMain, a junior at MMSTC, in order to use the new tech feature with an app, “You fill the QR code inside of the box from the camera, and it will automatically take you to a website.” He added that “It does it for you. You type in the URL you want. The codes can be printed out, and each QR code is special. They are all unique.”
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To add the feature to the nature center exhibits, the students printed out the quick response codes that they generated and laminated them. They have now been affixed near each of the animals that have been researched. At the moment, the program is starting with an initial six animals. However, according to Dewey, there are intentions to add more barcodes to the nature center exhibits.
The students are also looking into being able to add videos to the webpages that can be accessed through the QR codes.