MY MY MARIA
The culmination of 4 gruelling expeditions, 36 high school researchers, 6 college film students editing, and 1 fantastic app builder has landed. It's informative, it's sleek, it's awesome. It's the My My Maria iPhone app and it's alive, FREE and running into your mobile phone when you're ready to open the gate.
Students from four different Tasmanian high schools (Scottsdale, Smithton, Jordan River and Ogilvie) were tasked with researching different topics about the natural and cultural history of the Maria Island National Park (pronounced 'Mariah') off the east coast of Tasmania, and - as part of the expedition - checking these on-ground (animals, plants, rocks and history). They then teamed with media students from Rosny College to film short video pieces on these topics, which were then added to an interactive mobile phone App prepared by student Owen Andrews from Hobart College.
The free App is available for download (iPhone only!) so that visitors to the island can now share the students' interpretations of what they saw. This was a great interactive project requiring cooperation from students from different schools and regions on the ground and online. In their words, "Made by students for the world to enjoy" - so please do!
Don't have an iphone? You can still enjoy the below video experiences of the students as they explored the island and filmed the segments for the App. See the short documentaries prepared by our Rosny media students for each of the different school expeditions as follows, plus the cool animation made by Ogilvie student Isobel O'Connell as an introduction for the App, as well as links to the day-by-day online reports of the students on the ground.
But trust us, the App has so much more!
APP ANIMATION by Isobel O'Connell
SMITHTON EXPEDITION VIDEO (or read Smithton's daily reports here)
SCOTTSDALE EXPEDITION VIDEO (or read Scottsdale's daily reports here)
JORDAN RIVER EXPEDITION VIDEO (or read Jordan River's daily reports here)
OGILVIE EXPEDITION VIDEO (or read Ogilvie's daily reports here)
Program preparation information is available here
More information here
Want more? Here's how we reported on the expeditions in our November 2013 newsletter:
PROJECT SKULLBONE: MY MY MARIA
Not content with running the Thailand-Tasmania student exchange from February to April *and* VOLCANO LAND from May to August, Andrew embarked on four high school expeditions to Maria Island in September and October (you can see why he was named Tasmanian of the Year!). These expeditions were the culmination of a year of training for the participating students through Project Skullbone, this year exploring Maria Island on Tasmania's east coast.
Leading up to the expeditions, teams of adventurers from Smithton High, Scottsdale High, the Jordan River Learning Federation and Ogilvie High prepared for their trips by researching different topics on the natural history and the colonial and convict past of the island, with a view to filming short information clips in cooperation with media students from Rosny College. Preparation included learning about the Check, Clean, Disinfect and Dry protocols mentioned above, and their relevance to important places such as the Maria Island National Park..
Over six weeks, 36 high school students, 6 Rosny College media students, 4 teachers, and Bookend's Jen Kreusser and Andrew Hughes went to the tops of mountains, the bottom of valleys, and faced harsh weather with the task of building a story of the natural history (plant, animal, human and rock) of Maria Island National Park. This unique collaboration has produced a visitor's guide mobile App. The App, called My My Maria, was designed in parallel to the expeditions by Year 11 Hobart College student Owen Andrews, and presents natural history topics through video, text and photos that the students researched and presented.
This quirky guide is aimed at the 12 000+ visitors to the island each year and also the armchair tourists who will now have the opportunity to learn about the topics that were explored on and for the expeditions. Future visitors to the island will be able to access this App via their smartphones in order to share the students' experiences and interpretations of what they found (the free App is currently being completed. It will be showcased at Bookend's upcoming end of year event, and it is due to be released in time for Christmas).
The following info will appear in the Apple App store: "This is a fun natural history guide to one of Tasmania's most loved national parks, Maria Island. It's the perfect companion for adventure seekers who are visiting the island, but is equally awesome if you just want an armchair tour. There are four categories: PLANTS, ANIMALS, HISTORY and ROCKS, with topics under each category presented by Tasmanian high school students. These students researched and filmed their topics on location at Maria Island to give you an authentic experience. Download the FREE app for film clips, photos and written descriptions to learn more about topics ranging from the murderous convict history to the Dragon Richea on Mt Maria. Built by students for the world to enjoy."
The participating students also took over Andrew's role as a communicator, sending daily blogs back to the schools following them online. Although the weather was very variable across each of the trips and many blisters arose from lots of walking, a fun time was definitely had by all. The students' experiences can be read in their own words by clicking on each school name above, as well as photos of their time climbing mountains, setting remote cameras, filming interviews, and experiencing the wildlife, geology and history of the Maria Island National Park (with thanks to the Tasmanian Department of Education, the Parks and Wildlife Service, and the Pennicott Foundation).