Daruma Tech created a mobile app to help the Museum of Discovery and Science (MODS) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida showcase apps developed by students participating in its APP-titude internship program. For this project, Daruma Tech oversaw the collaboration of over 120 students along with a coalition of academic, commercial, and non-profit partners, tested the student projects, then organized and incorporated them into a single container app, which was made available for free download on iTunes and Google Play.
MODS’ two-year APP-titude internship program, funded by the United Way of Broward County, invites teams of high school students to explore MODS’ exhibits, learn about the museum’s mission, then acquire the programming skills needed to produce mini-apps showcasing MODS exhibits. In the program, students not only earn college and community service credit, they practice advanced programming techniques such as creating assets using augmented reality and virtual reality. In addition, they gain practical experience in workplace skills such as project planning, working in teams, and meeting deadlines.
To create the carrier app, Daruma Tech employed cost-effective open-source mobile content-management systems and leveraged its previous experience creating mobile apps for other prominent museums. With the MODS app, museum visitors can buy tickets, reserve seats in MODS’ IMAX theatre, navigate the museum using the app’s map, take a virtual tour of the museum, explore ten different exhibit areas, learn about current programs, and more. Student projects in the app include interactive quizzes, videos, and a scavenger hunt incorporating augmented reality. The app was also designed to be expandable and able to accommodate additional student projects as the APP-titude program continues into future years.
The MODS app not only reflects the museum’s commitment to science education, it gives MODS visitors a fresh new way to experience the museum. The app—the only museum app created by students—not only replaces paper brochures and maps, its virtual and augmented reality features offer visitors dynamic new ways to interact with and understand the museum’s exhibits.
“Everyone involved will benefit from this program – the interns will acquire invaluable experience, and museum visitors will be able to utilize the new technology that has been created,” said Kathleen Cannon, president and CEO of the United Way of Broward County.
Creation of the app was a complex team effort, and MODS was pleased with Daruma Tech’s leadership on the project. “The management team and staff at Daruma Tech went above and far beyond anything the Museum could have expected on this project,” said Joe Cytacki, MODS’ vice president of Programs, Life Sciences, and Exhibits. “The work was always excellent, very creative, delivered on time and on budget and always exceeded expectations.”
Most importantly, he added, Daruma Tech proactively addressed MODS’ needs and concerns as the project advanced. “The most impressive characteristic the staff demonstrated during this project was their ability to listen to our ideas and concerns. They also provided brilliant ideas to make the app better.”