Mobile Design & Development

Digital Activity Guide

The Fairmount Water Works’ mission is to foster stewardship of our shared water resources by encouraging informed decisions about the use of land and water. They wanted a better way to educate students on clean water stewardship, so they partnered with us to develop a series of engaging interactive games that teach students about the relationship between Philadelphians and their watershed.

Fairmount Water Works
Providing a New Learning Experience

Before our collaboration, the Water Works used a paper-based field guide and activity book to direct middle and high school students through their exhibits and learning directives. One of the Water Works’ core values is providing visitors with experiential learning opportunities, and the they saw an opportunity for a better visitor experience. We worked with Habithèque Inc., cultural producers with expertise in content development, exhibition design, and creative visioning and direction, and used the field guide as a starting point, creating digital versions of the original lessons and designing new games around the Water Works’ educational goals. We then assembled all the activities in an interactive app, built in HTML5 and JavaScript.

Gamification and Critical Thinking

By providing an interactive map of the museum complete with games and puzzles, Fairmount Water Works can better attract the interest of students and more effectively fulfill its educational mission. The app is an interconnected game made of several mini-games, just like the multiple components which make up the watershed environment. While working at their own pace to complete the goal of filling their water droplet progress marker, students and visitors participate in crossword puzzles, spot-the-object games, and interactive quizzes. These activities not only reinforce the information presented in the museum exhibits, they also encourage users to think critically and connect the museum’s lessons with their own experiences.

Applications Beyond The Application

The app was launched on 15 iPads using Kiosk Pro. In accordance with the Water Works’ “hands on/minds on” learning approach, visitors can now interact with the museum environment in new ways. Students are more engaged with the iPads than the previous paper versions, and Fairmount Water Works is building on this work with the hopes of demonstrating increased long-term information retention and an interest in protecting our shared water resources. The app closes with a call-to-action, encouraging visitors to use their new knowledge for good by reducing pollution, recycling properly, and appreciating our water sources.