Travel Through Time Interactive Games for Local Museum

Sulphur Rock Elementary School


The Old Independence Regional Museum in Batesville invited a group of students from Sulphur Rock EAST to tour their exhibits. Museum Curator, Mrs. Twyla Wright, wanted a child's perspective on the interest level of their current exhibits. After conversing with EAST students, Mrs. Wright proposed an intriguing challenge: create an interactive display to demonstrate how travel along the White River occurred during the 1800's. She wanted the exhibit to excite youngsters to "play & learn" at the same time. In addition, she asked the group to design a matching game for identifying makes and models of cars throughout the decades.

Two groups of 4th & 5th grade boys took on the challenge. One group researched automobiles from the 1930's through the year 2000. They chose images of iconic vehicles from each decade. With the help of Photoshop, the boys designed game pieces with the car's image along with a matching game piece with the make & model of each. In order for the exhibit to withstand public use, the boys partnered with classmates to design a magnetic, 3D printed game piece to attach the photos and make & model labels.

Another group researched travel along the White River from the late 1800's to the early 1900's. They discovered that "ferry gliding" was a popular way to cross the river. To demonstrate how ferry gliding works, the team applied the Pythagorean theorem to the measurements of the river to design a game board that modeled how far up the river a ferry would have to enter the current in order to safely reach the other side. The boys split the work into the calculation team and two design teams.

The calculation team worked in Photoshop to create the game board with measurements exactly to scale. The first design team created a magnetic 3D model of a ferry from the time period. They printed several to be used within the interactive game. The second design team created the game board. Using large pieces of cardboard, they made a template of their design. After contacting several local manufacturing businesses who only worked in metal designs, the boys turned to the high school agri department for help. The agri department cut & routed all routes, discs, and holes needed for the game board.

After three months of work, all members of the team came together to assemble and test the interactive game. It worked! The next step was to contact Mrs. Wright at the museum and set up a date for the grand opening. On May 8th, EAST students, their parents, their facilitator, Mrs. Lori Campbell, Mrs. Wright & her staff met at the museum to unveil the games in their exhibits. It was a wonderful culmination of 12 weeks of hard work. Both games worked beautifully and are open to the public in our local museum.

Old Independence Regional Museum will highlight the games during several events for children and adults throughout the summer. EAST has made it's mark on our local museum. We can't wait to see what they challenge us with next!