Healdsburg Tech-Play Camp – Concept

Catalog info

Additional Details

This program is a collaboration between the City of Healdsburg, Parks & Recreation, Healdsburg High School Technology Integration, Healdsburg Museum & Historical Society, and the Healdsburg Rotary Sunrise Club. Each of these groups is excited about engaging our youth in practical and fun uses of technology.

Camp Description

One of the main outcomes for this program is for campers to learn to program apps so that they can use smart devices as tools rather than just for entertainment and communication.  We expect some campers to be very tech knowledgeable and others less so and the program content will then be adjusted to accommodate these various skill levels.  Campers will be provided a variety of programmable devices, as well as have the support of instructors and camp leaders available to engage everyone from beginner to advanced techie.

Camp One

Camp One will create two “games”.  In addition to the portable devices provided, Bluetooth beacons will be available that will activate the app the campers create or a smartphone that has the camper’s app installed.  This activation will bring up a screen that is specific to each location where the beacon has been placed.  In addition to learning the game app, the campers will also create the content for each beacon that will be located in buildings around and within one block of the Plaza.

Two games will be created; a treasure hunt and a historical mystery. In the historical mystery game the beacons will display a photograph of the location as it appeared in earlier times. The overlaying of virtual information is known as Augmented Reality and is the newest trend in game design as well as travelogue apps. It is hoped that the beacons will remain in place for a year or more so that the games can continue to be played and used to entertain guests coming to Healdsburg.

Camp Two

The technology of Camp Two is less technical will appeal to campers with no prior tech knowledge.  One game resource will be programmable robots such as Primo,

PowerUp RC Paper Airplanes, Quadcopters and Bo & Yana.  The second element is QR Codes.  The challenge for the campers will be to understand these systems well enough to be able to create a game that uses both technologies.

4th of July Show and Tell

The event on the 4th will be in conjunction with the Recreation Department’s booth at the Sunrise Rotary 4th of July event. The current concept is that campers will be present to share their games.  Ideally campers will form small teams that include residents and visitors and then go off on adventures.  Security for the campers will be assured since the field of play will be generally visible from the booth.  The field of play may be expanded if it is determined that are adult chaperons for the campers or we can monitor them electronically.

Relationship with Historical Society

In addition to the treasure hunt game we also engage the campers in creating a mystery game set at the turn of the 19th Century around the Healdsburg Plaza. The Museum has recently completed digitizing their complete photographic collection and will make this available to campers. The Museum in very interested in this project as they are in the process of exploring retiring their current audio tour system and using smart device apps.

Relationship with Shop Owners

Well in advance of the camps shop owners around the Plaza will be contacted and fully informed about the content of the Tech-Play Camps and their participation options explained.  One of the goals of this project is to educate merchants about the newly emerging beacon technology of location-based marketing and its uses in creating positive and mutually beneficial relationships with customers. If the event and the experiences of the merchants are positive, with their permission, the beacons could remain in place and become the backbone of such a system.

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