Museum Engineer for the Week Partnership Project Tackles Distracted Driving
The I.M. Terrell team is being recognized for the development of a video game designed to demonstrate the challenges of texting and driving. The Texting and Driving Simulator game was created through a partnership with the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. The Museum played a pivotal role in the EFTW project through organization and facilitation of the program at I.M. Terrell which challenged student teams to tackle social problems in their communities through the development of games.
Chief Technology Officer Dr. Doug Roberts and Director of Scientific Presentation Dr. Morgan Rehnberg worked with the students over several weeks to share how technology and software development is used in real-world environments such as the Museum’s Academy of Digital Learning. A total of 18 students were broken up into teams and tasked with building a video game using “Scratch”, a programming language developed by MIT to teach the basics of computer science. Over the course of three weeks, the teams, guided by Museum and I.M. Terrell staff, completed their projects.
“Without a doubt, the most impressive aspect about this experience was observing how much work had gone on between our group sessions and how engaged the students were,” said Dr. Roberts. “There were several times when I had no idea how a student team was going to deal with a problem and was blown away the next time we met where the students showed off a solution to their problem that they developed on their own time.”
The finalist team of four students will be heading to Facebook Headquarters in May to showcase the Texting and Driving Simulator at the EFTW Achievement Summit. The two-day event will include STEM workshops, a hackathon with Facebook engineers and a tour of the Facebook Campus.
The Museum was established in 1941, is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute. Anchored by its rich collections, the Museum is dedicated to lifelong learning. It engages guests through creative, vibrant programs and exhibits interpreting science and the history of Texas and the Southwest. For more information, visit www.fortworthmuseum.org.