2017 HS Internship

The Digital Learning Internship is a deep dive into the science and technology of The Field Museum. In this 6-week paid summer internship, high school students will gain hands-on scientific research experience in the Museum’s collections and will create an interactive digital media installation based upon their scientific work. Students will work directly with Field Museum scientists and digital learning specialists, to conduct research in the museum’s collections and translate the research to the general public by creating an interactive digital experience.

August 1,2017

Allison– Hi everyone! These last few days have been intense on just working on our game and debugging the code. Yesterday, Michael came in and helped us mount the beacons on the walls in the Plant Hall. Today we tested the game with the beacons and they generally triggered when they were supposed to! Which is a good sign. Today, I mainly worked on the Remix version of our game. The Remix version is to appeal for younger audiences and we are helping Jen and Chris, our teacher partners, develop it. The main changes are just in the script so it’s not too difficult!! It’s crazy there are only THREE days of this internship left!!! I don’t want it to end but I’m excited to reveal our game to the public!

Jenny– It was a relatively fun day. Because we’re so far into the development of our game, there wasn’t a particular lot to do. We recorded some audio, helped the RETs with their script, and also finalized some graphics. I added a dramatic title to the image Isaiah drew of the cover screen and it looks amazing! I’m excited for everyone to see the game and officially play it. We lots of fun and laughs today as well, playing some games and enjoying the couch space. Here is a teaser of the game, our cover screen!

Isaiah– Today I got in nice and early and got straight to work. Finished up all the endings. I still have to voice some lines for the remix of the game though. We tested the game again and its almost bug free, we also reviewed the trailer. All in all the game should be ready by the end of the week. Kinda sad its all coming to an end…

Camela– Today we continued working on the game. Because we’ve done so much, a lot of us are running out of stuff to do. But, it’s been super cool and I’m loving all the hard work we have been doing these last couple days.

Uma– Today we pretty much just worked on our game. There wasn’t too much work today so it was really laid back. I’m super excited for Friday, when our game will launch. I’m also really sad for Friday to arrive because after Friday I won’t see anyone who was a part of this program again. Or even if I see them again,. it won’t be all together. I just feel like we were all really starting mesh and I’ve really loved it here, so Friday will be bittersweet 

Strive for Education

My name is Olivia Singleton, a Southside Chicago native. Currently, I am a rising fourth year at The University of Chicago, majoring in political science. At first I wasn’t sure about how I would apply my major to the real world, and then I finally figured it out. I realized that a multitude of institutions have restrictions that are put in place so that many children do not have access to quality education. I want to be able to advocate the implementation of more after school programs and affordable summer learning programs as a start to quality education for all.

I chose to intern at The Field Museum’s Grainger Digital Media Studio because I wanted to see how education is taught under a different lens. Meaning, I wanted to observe and be a part of education outside of the classroom. Here at the museum, I had the opportunity of assisting youth ages 11- 17 in computer programs such as TaleBlazer and Scratch (which are both easy computer coding sites).

By participating in this internship, my takeaway is that everyone should put education first whether it be in or outside of the classroom. At the end of the day, youth from all backgrounds should have the opportunity to learn while having fun at the same time.

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Day 22- July 28, 2017

Camela– Today at the internship, we got a lot done. Our game is practically done and now we are just fine tuning our game to fix any bugs. Specifically, we fixed all inconstancies in the game’s script. Also, Today was Sylvie’s last day which was pretty sad and it kinda made us think about our last day. Today was cool.

Uma– Today I worked on coding. We don’t have very much left to do. We have very small things left to do with perfecting the game. I’m really sad because today was Sylvie’s last day. I can’t believe this program is slowly coming to an end.

Isaiah– Welp, today was productive. I got some stuff done for the trailer, the good ending, started some stuff for the best ending, picked out some music as well. Hunter and Uma also brought some snacks so that was nice.Warehouse Title Screen_00000.png

Allison– Hi everyone! It’s been a while since we’ve blogged, but that’s because we’ve been working on our game all week! On Wednesday and Thursday we had two groups of teens come in, one from the Garfield Park Conservatory and another from the Field Museum’s Green Ambassadors, to play test our game. We asked them to play it in groups and observed them and ended with a quick interview. We took in their feedback and over the last few days we implemented changes to the script, code, and graphics. Today, we talked with the teachers Chris and Jen to discuss how we want to remix the game to be more appropriate for younger kids. Although nothing’s finalized, our main changes are to make the script more age appropriate for 3-5th graders and to add voice recordings of the plant descriptions. Today also ended our Spirit Week with a Fancy Friday! Only the girls participated (@Isaiah and Hunter) but here are some really cute pictures!

Jenny– Today was the end of our spirit week, the theme being Fancy Friday! We all dressed to impress… except for Hunter and Isaiah. Everyone else was very pretty and fancy. Over the past week, we’ve had many teenagers help us play test the game. We had many positive reactions and valuable feedback and I enjoyed connecting to the teens who tried our game. Using the feedback, we quickly edited things they suggested we added or fixed, and refined our game. It’s turning into something we’re extremely proud of and excited to show to the public. We’ve finalized the script and started voice recording, and Isaiah has begun making video clips that may be included into the game. I look forward to seeing it come together.
Overall rating: 8/10

Day 17- July 24,2017

Isaiah– So today I came in and got right to work. While working on the characters Jenny and I consulted Olivia and Carolina about how the player should be presented, we received some advice and completed all the characters. Next, I went through and put BGs for all the characters and did grandma’s two endings. I also need to complete the intro and other endings.

Camela– Today at the Digital Learning Internship, we worked super hard on our game and got a lot of work done. It was a productive day.

Jenny– I came into work in complete red because today is Monochrome Monday. This week was our spirit week, with a different theme everyday of this week. We immediately began working on our game but soon, Erin called us for the break. We decided to go visit Carolina to ask her a few questions about the game and while exiting, met Beth, someone of HIGH position at the field. It was fascinating to meet so many people who had such a large influence on the Field Museum and it almost felt like meeting a celebrity. Today, I hopped back and forth between graphics and script writing, trying to help everyone refine our game. During lunch, we sat at the East Entrance, where the seagulls were flocked at. Uma, being scared of birds, was extremely nervous and it was very funny to see her moving further and further away from the birds. After that, we worked on our game today, preparing for the play testing on Wednesday and Thursday. Again, it was overall a very productive day and we did ALOT.
Overall rating: 8.5/10

Hunter– Hello Everyone! Today we worked some more on our game. We are very close to finishing. The map is now done as well as many of the pictures and the script is being proofread for the final time. We are beginning to start some of our side projects relating to the game, such as the trailer. We should be ready for play testing Wednesday.

Uma– Mostly, I code our game today. It was really fun and I felt like I was working at a decent speed, but I still feel like time is rushing by so quickly. I really hope I finish connecting the beacons to the game and setting up the map so that the game will be ready for testing on Wednesday. Speaking of which, I can’t believe so many people are going to be playing our game. We have 14 people testing it. I hope nearly as many play our game when we are finished with it.:)

Allison– Hi everyone! Today marks our first day of Spirit Week, it was Monochrome Monday! We all wore an outfit of a solid color, pretty fashionable, I’d say! Today, we spent the entire game working on our game, I mainly worked on cropping and fixing some images to fit in TaleBlazer, and recorded Camela reciting lines of the Colony Leader. We also spent some time brainstorming ideas for the name of the game; we didn’t decide on anything, but we have a few options that we will narrow down on Wednesday.
Speaking of Wednesday, we’ll have some teen interns from the Garfield Park Conservatory come in and play test our game! We’ll get some feedback from them and hopefully it’ll help us improve our game!!
Get ready for Twin Tuesday tomorrow!!

Day 16- July 19, 2017

Isaiah– So, I know I’ve been saying we’ve been super productive a lot, and that’s because we have been! We’ve all been doing our individual tasks and working fervently to get our tasks done. Jenny and I have been working on the art, she’s been working on the sketch designs while I’ve been doing the line art and coloring. The others got their jobs and I’ve got mine, and I plan to do well.

Jenny– The entire day today could be summarized by one word: productivity. We worked in our small groups to refine the game and Isaiah and I began to draw the characters. I heard everyone has done so much to contribute to the process of making the game and it’s exciting to see it coming together. We had a guest speaker, Patience, who was is an audience insights and research manager, come in to talk to us about how to approach our game while thinking of the visitors. It was very helpful to learn about how to think in that perspective and we will definitely take that into account.

Overall Rating: 9/10

Camela– In the morning, the interns and I worked on our game a lot. Just continuing and perfecting what we did yesterday. Jenny and Isiah worked on the graphics which were super cool. Shout out to them. Uma and Allison figured out the basic code for in the actual TaleBlazer system programing. Hunter and I finished the script for the game.

Uma– Yesterday we split up and worked on our individual jobs for the majority of the day. Patience Bock, an audience insights and research manager, came in as a guest speaker to talk to us about the process of exhibit making, specifically evaluations and testing of exhibits. It was really helpful listening to her advice because a lot of the factors that matter for making an exhibit matters for making a game too. Allison and I finished coding the bulk of the game. Any additional work we do in Tale Blazer would be adding the text written by Camela and Hunter into the game and making adjustments based on feedback. I’m really happy because everything is going super smoothly. I only wish the days wouldn’t go by so quickly.

Hunter– Hello again everybody, yesterday we worked some more on our game. The script and code are almost finalized. We also finished our scoring system. After lunch we had a guest speaker come in to talk to us. She talked to us about audience evaluations in order to get feedback on the exhibits and interactives in the exhibits. Hopefully we can use this information to get feedback on our game.

Allison– Hi everyone! Today was just a really productive day for our game! Instead of going up to the Third Floor in the morning, we stayed in the Digital Studio working on our game, which I thought was very productive. By the end of the day, we have the script almost finished, the code is there, we just have to put the script in, and Jenny and Isaiah are doing an AMAZING job on the art! I can’t wait for everyone to see it. During lunch, we went outside and Uma was proving to Hunter that two shapes with the same volume can have different surface area. We also saw a sign outside on Museum Campus and it mentioned Bill Burger!! It made my day :))

Day 15- July 18, 2017

Isaiah– So today we completed various tasks: A spreadsheet, discovered a secret gym, and got down on some work. The spread sheet helped us organize the agents we’re going to be using. On our break we went to the gym and after we got a waiver so we can go in there when we want to. Finally, we split into groups and got some work done; Jenny and I worked on the art, Allison and Uma worked on the coding, and Hunter and Camela worked on the story.

Jenny– It was an extremely productive day in general. We began the morning by immediately setting out to work, finalizing story and agents. We took a break in the middle of the day and Erin brought us to the Field Museum’s gym. It was fascinating to think about and see that even scientists and staff at a museum have access to a gym with lots of equipment. Of course, we all wanted access as well, so we went to HR. There, we made sure to say hi to Thomas, HR’s intern. He hopefully recognizes us because he’s a legend (according to Camela’s words). During lunch, we visited the Shedd Aquarium again and touched the sting rays, which was incredibly enjoyable. When we went back to work, we all split up into pairs to work on things related to the game. Allison and Uma worked on code, Hunter and Camela worked on the storyline and script, and Isaiah and I worked on some character designs. Eve came around 3 o’clock and we presented the story. She was super excited about seeing the game come to life and wished us good luck on our process. 😀

Overall rating: 8.5/10

Camela– Today at the Digital Learning Internship, we had a lot of fun. In the morning we all worked on an excel spreadsheet that mapped out everything that needed to get done for each character/agent in our game. Which will be helpful in mapping out what needs to get done later in the process of creating the game. During lunch we went to the Shed Aquarium to pet the sting rays and that was fun but in a weird way. After lunch we did more work but it was cool because we to a lot of stuff done.

Hunter– Hello again everybody, today we worked on our game the entire day. In the morning we worked on a spreadsheet detailing all our agents and characters. In the afternoon me and Camela worked on and almost finished the script for our game. During our break we discovered the Field Museum had a gym. It was quite surprising.

Allison– Hello! Today was an extremely productive day for our game. In the morning, instead of going to the third floor to work with Matt’s team, we spent the morning and afternoon working on our game. In the morning, we worked as one group to finalize our agents and characters we would need. Then we took a break and finally delivered our Thank You card to Bill Burger. We all wrote a little message and a plant pun in our card. Then we discovered the Field Museum gym! It had quite a bit of equipment and it was fun to see because I just never imagined a gym in a museum. We also visited HR with a few questions and to see Thomas! Our favorite HR intern. After lunch, we split up into 3 groups: scripting, coding, and graphics. I was coding with Uma and we were able to code a simple outline of how the trivia questions would flow for the player.
More updates later!

Uma– We filled out an excel spreadsheet that helped us plan out what graphics, animations and code would be needed for each agent. In the afternoon, we used the spreadsheet to split up and work on different tasks. I worked on coding the game with Allison which was a stressful in the most fun way possible. I feel like that sounds like an odd description; I think it’s just because I like coding, especially the challenging parts of it.We also planned a spirit week for the second to last week of our program. Which is next week, actually. I can’t believe I’m halfway through this internship because I never want it to end.

Day 14- July 17,2017

Isaiah -Today was really productive! We split into two groups to look into and refine things. I’d say the most important thing we’ve decided today is to kill off FGR (Friendly Guide Robot). This can add a whole lot of emotions to the player if done right, even then, if they get the best ending FGR may even be revived. (I hope we can get everything done.)

Uma– Yesterday morning, Matt came in and told us about his adventures in Fiji, collecting specimens, and his exciting experiences being a scientist. In the afternoon we got a lot of work done. Camela, Isaiah and Jenny worked out a lot of the storyline of our game, and Allison Hunter and I went down to the plant hall and  wrote the questions for our game. Overall,I’m really happy with yesterday because everyone was super productive and we got a lot done. I’m looking forward to the coding part and I think that’ll be coming up soon so I’m really excited:)

Allison– Hello everyone, happy Monday! In the morning, Matt came in to talk to us about his research he’s completed throughout the years. He did a lot of travel throughout the world including to the Driftless Area, Cape Horn, and in the Pacific Islands. One goal of his research is to discover new species in undocumented areas in order to make more informed decisions about conservation of our planet.During lunch, we made a spontaneous decision to go to the Shedd Aquarium after hearing people from the Stingray exhibit. We weren’t sure if we’d get to see anything, but luckily, we found our way to the Stingray exhibit and got to touch them!After lunch, we divided into two groups: one group to create questions for the game and one to create the story line. We were really productive and got a lot done regarding our game.
More updates tomorrow!

Hunter– Hello again everybody, this morning gave us a very interesting presentation on his work.  It was cool learning about what he does in the field and all the cool places he’s been such as Fiji and the Falkland Islands.  His life is certainly very exciting.  Later that day we worked some more on our game.  I worked on the trivia questions we would ask our players.  We were all happy with how much we got done.

Jenny- Matt came in in the morning and gave a presentation on his work. He explained how he goes into the field and remote areas to look for mosses. I remember specifically the funny story about his experience during travel. As a bryophyte collector, he placed them into packets and when people who don’t know his background as a plant scientist, seeing him with millions of little packets of dried plants seem a little sketchy. We also met two people from green ambassadors, one of them being my childhood friend. We all sat together to listen to Matt’s presentation. Another super fun thing we did was go to the Shedd Aquarium during our lunch break and touched stingrays! They kept soft and slimy and had a very smooth surface. After that, we went back to the studio and worked in groups to refine the storyline and also begin creating questions. It was an extremely productive day.

Overall rating: 8.5/10

Camela Yesterday was a cool and super productive. Matt the scientist gave a presentation on his research and day to day job. It was impressive to see all the places Matt has traveled to and all the stuff he sees. The most interesting place Matt told his traveled to was Fuji. In the afternoon, the interns and I got a lot of stuff done. We were able to set our storyline in place and come up with questions. Today was fun.

Day 13- July 14, 2017



Today in the morning we watched a live stream of Anna Balla mounting a specimen onto archive paper. We asked questions in the comments and she answered them pretty quickly. Afterwards we met with Matt and he introduced us to Darlene Dowdy, who is an expert at mounting plants. She told us a little bit about scientists collecting plants in the field and challenges of mounting particular plants. Finally, we said bye to Matt and came back to the Digital Studio.



In the morning, we watched Ana, a collection assistant, show how to glue plant specimens onto herbarium sheets and the general process. We all really enjoyed seeing how it was done and so, Matt brought us to see Darlene, a professional in the process of attacking specimens to herbarium sheets. She answered our questions and we all really wanted to try glueing the specimens ourselves. During lunch, we all gathered around to play the game of life. Allison and I paired up and though we weren’t ahead on the game board, we had the most money. While the game was going on, Isaiah and I decided to do a drawing where we split a character in half and drew each side with our styles (right side is my part!). The day was chill and we got a lot done with the game plot. 

Overall rating: 8/10
We had watched a livestream with Anna Balla showing how to press plants. After that we went up to meet with Matt where we spoke to Darlene, and even found Nigel and Anna. We also asked some questions during the livestream.
Today was cool. In the morning we watched a plant mounting seminar/ live display on Facebook live. The experience was interesting because you never think about the actual mounting process before scientist can study the plants. Today was fun. 

Hunter- Hello Again Everybody,

Today we watched a cool livestream about mounting plant specimens.  They showed us how we could do it at home and answered all the questions we had.  Later on we met someone who actually does that here, Darlene.  She showed us all the techniques she uses and gave us some more background on what she does.  It was very interesting. 

Day 12- July 13, 2017

Uma–  Today we helped with rehousing bryophytes with Matt’s team. Specifically, I glued labels to the new paper houses that contain the specimens. I also cut the specimens out of their old configuration. 

After lunch we visited the plant hall to continue planning our game. Visiting the plant hall caused a lot of questions about the specifics of our game to pop up, but with discussion we came to agreement over various game design choices. After visiting the plant hall, we came back up to the digital studio and drew mapped out the beacons and sequence of dilemmas. 
Allison- Hey everyone! This morning was pretty relaxing, we worked up on the fourth floor reorganizing the specimen up there. We prepared some casings for them to be stored more easily in a more cost-effective way. After lunch, we worked on our game more; we went down to the plant hall and walked through the game, looking at where beacons could be placed, and talked about which plants should be focused on. After a while, we went back up to the Digital Studio and drew a map of the hall. this way we could physically see the layout of the game and where beacons could be placed. Today was pretty rough just because I’ve just been pretty tired and out of it. Tonight I’m going to sleep for about 10 hours and hopefully tomorrow will be better!

Hunter– Hello Again Everybody

Today we went to the Plant Hall to come up with ideas for our game.  We seem to have the structure of the beginning of the game down.  Our plan is to have the player look at different plants to see which ones will work best for their goals while also asking them trivia questions.  We got a lot done but it was also a lot of work.  
Camela– Today at the Digital Learning Internship was a bit stressful. Trying to plan out everything in the plant hall was overwhelming for the us. I found it hard to try and solve one problem without finding new ones with in the original problem itself.
Isaiah– Today we refined our ideas even further and went through the plant hall again. We did this to help us determine where to put the beacons and plot out how we’re going have the flow of the story. We also used a 360 camera for the weekly photo contest. 😉

Jenny–  We started today with some more packaging upstairs in the secret 4th floor. That was enjoyable and a very chill beginning of the day. Once we came back from lunch, we welcomed our evaluator and decided to go into the plant hall to discuss how our game would be like in the hall itself. We walked around, making sure to check places to place beacons and also interesting things to include in our game. While we were discussing and putting ideas out, our opinions clashed a little and we got intense. Maybe it was the dark, heated room or some general sleepiness getting us all kind of grumpy, but we all got a little stressed out about it. We decided to take a break back in the digital studio and created a map of the hall to express our ideas more clearly. Eventually, we all calmed down and was able to make progress with our ideas. 

Overall rating: 7.5/10 

Day 11- July 12

Isaiah– Today was really fun refining the game’ story and in game elements. We came up with ideas like dilemmas, character facials, some video ideas, characters (such as a robot guide). We got a lot of input on our ideas as well from staff, which also helped helped.

Allison– Hi everyone! Sorry it’s been a while since we’ve blogged, but a lot has happened this week! We started brainstorming ideas for our final game and finalized one idea on Wednesday. Today we had the Intern Breakfast! It was really cool to meet some of the other interns that work in different parts of the museum and hear about all the things that happen at the same time. Also, Camela, Uma, and I met the President of the Field Museum, Richard Lariviere! After the breakfast, we met with some people from NEIU who were visiting Matt and his crew. For the rest of the day, we worked on our final game design, brainstorming the story line and how the player would interact with the hall. We also gave a pitch of our idea to Matt, Eve, Carolina, and Kat who all seemed very interested and were really supportive of our idea!

Jenny– We started out the morning with an extravagant intern breakfast. We had food like eggs, bacon, scones, and potatoes. It was extremely enjoyable and I got to see the president of the Field Museum. We left a bit early to meet up with Matt the scientist, his team, and educators from NEIU to tell them a little about our game/project. Then, we went back to the digital studio to present our current game ideas to Eve, Matt, Kat, and the rest of the digital studio crew. They really liked our idea and was enthusiastic to see how it would turn out. They gave us some basic suggestions and soon, we got to work. We worked on basic story plot points (in the form of a fancy color coded diagram) as well as discussed some of the possible characters. My favorite character that we created was Friendly Guide Robot. It was overall an extremely productive day where we came in contact with so many important people. 

Camela– Today was a busy day at the Digital Learning Internship. In the morning, the interns and I attended the annual intern breakfast thrown by the HR department. Meeting all the other interns in different areas of study was super fun. It was also really interesting to learn about what the other teens are doing with their summer at Field. Later in the day, We all presented our game idea to Matt, Eve, Erin, Kat, and Carolina. The feedback they gave helped us develop our idea a bit more concisely. 
It was great day. 
Uma– First we had the intern breakfast. There were a variety of food and drink options and Richard Lariviere came to speak to us. I had to leave early to meet some people from NEIU with Matt but as I was leaving the breakfast, I got to shake Richard Laraviere’s hand.  

After meeting with the people from NEIU, we discussed the progress of our game/ preliminary idea for our game with Eve, her team, and Matt. We worked on writing our story which was challenging because of the sheer number of ideas people had. Using post-its helped us organize our thoughts and were super helpful.

Hunter– Hello Again Everybody,

This morning we had an intern breakfast.  We got to meet quite a few of the other interns and learned about the interesting things they do in the Field Museum.  We also had lots of food, which turned out to be surprisingly good.  They had plenty of tasty pastries such as scones, as well as potatoes and bacon.  After the breakfast we mapped out the story for our game.  It took a lot of work, but we finally have the basic structure down.

Day 9 – No Blogs 

Day 8 – No Blogs 

Day 7- July 7, 2017

Uma– Today we went to the Lincoln Park Conservatory and Lincoln Park Zoo. We learned a lot about different plants, specifically different subcategories of bryophytes. We also explored the orchid room, where we saw some unique plants including a carnivorous plant and another plant in which featured a small well of water inside of it. Afterwards, we explored the zoo. I saw many tropical birds, monkeys, giraffes, and even a polar bear! 

Hunter– Hello Again Everybody,

Today we took an amazing trip to the Lincoln Park Conservatory.  We went with many of the other staff at the Field Museum, such as Matt, Gabe, and Glenn.  They all knew a ton about the different plants there, from the tropical plants to the ferns.  My favorite plant there was the pitcher plant.  I had always thought that they were filled with acid that could harm us if we touched it, but I learned that wasn’t actually the case.  When I felt the liquid inside it, it felt just like water.

Allison- Today we went to the Lincoln Park Conservatory with a lot of people including Matt, Kat, and Matt’s interns! They are so knowledgable about plants and we learned a lot about different plants. For example, flowering plants, also called angiosperms, are divided into two categories: monocots and dicots. Coming to the Lincoln Park Conservatory was really eye opening because we had been talking a lot about these different types of plants and characteristics and being able to see the plants in person and touch them was awesome! The second picture shows moss sporophytes: these are the spores of the moss and are how the moss reproduces. It was mentioned in a presentation given by Glenn and Selma yesterday so it was cool to see it in person. After the conservatory, we stayed at the Lincoln Park Zoo and got to see some cute animals including a polar bear, meerkats, and penguins! What an informative and fun day, but I can’t believe it’s already Friday! I wish the week was longer, but I’m really looking forward to begin coding our own game next week!

Isaiah– Today was fun, we met up with Matt and a bunch of other interns, we learned a whole bunch about ferns, liverworts, artificial selection in plants, plants that eat bugs, and shoe lot. We also got to see the polar bear being super majestic.


Camela– Today at the Digital Learning Internship, we all took a field trip to the Lincoln Park conservatory. Matt the Scientist and his crew of interns joined us for a special tour/presentation from Matt and his colleagues (Gabe,Selma,Sylvie,Glenn). I got to see an up close view of sporophytes, which are these little bud things on the underside of non-flowering plants.They sorta look like bugs on the back of plants. It was cool. 

Jenny– Today, we went to the Lincoln Park Conservatory. We went on a tour with Matt, specifically through the palm and tropics room and then the fern room. He introduced us to some specific examples of cool plants, such as mosses with sporophytes. It was so interesting to see the small scale of life in detail. After being under the hot and humid temperatures of the conservatory, we all decided to hang out at the Lincoln Park zoo. We saw polar bears, birds, and even giraffes! It was so fun to go on a field trip together and even though we were all sweating and hot, we all enjoyed it very much.

Overall rating: 8/10 

Day 6- July 6, 2017

Isaiah– When I first started this internship I felt like I wouldn’t be able to do what was required of me. As time went on I’ve become more comfortable in the environment and I quite enjoy everyone’s company.

Uma– At the beginning, being in such a new environment, I was a little overwhelmed. Meeting lots of people working in different places on the staff level helped me be more comfortable here. As we are walking through the hallways, I can pop my head into a door and say hello to someone I met or ask what they’re working on. I feel like meeting people, and seeing them repeatedly has allowed me to learn more about them and gain exposure to various areas of study. I’ve been given a lot of information simply walking about the museum in the mornings, but one thing I would want to change about myself would be asking questions. Sometimes I sorta get into the mode of intensely absorbing information, which is good because that helps me gain knowledge, however, asking more questions would help foster discussions and would help me be more active as an intern and even more engaged in the material. Overall, I’m loving soaking up the knowledge we are learning.

Camela– So far the internship has been going pretty well. The other interns and I have been getting along great. Over the past several days we have all really connected with each other. Also. I have learned sooo much about botany and game design thanks to Keith and Matt the scientist. In the morning, we go upstairs to the third floor(Only Staff) and Matt the Scientist teaches us about various forms of botany and the different types of plants. We also got import data about plant specimens and their collectors into a shared database between the Field Museum and various institutions across the Untied States. That was cool I guess. Today was great!

Jenny–  Today, we worked with Matt the scientist and his crew to input data for the bryophyteportal website. It was stressful to read the messy handwriting on the labels and then input the data, but with Yarency and Caitlyn’s help, we managed to get past difficulties. We came back to the studio around 11:30 and resumed working on our thank you card for Bill Burger, making sure to include cheesy plant puns for him. After lunch, we worked with TaleBlazer and listened to music. It was especially enjoyable today because Hunter was singing and recording his own sound effects for his game. I figured out how to work out the inventory and map/location. Overall rating: 8/10

Allison- Hello everyone! It’s been a while since we’ve reflected, but it’s been quite busy! We’re getting more hands on with plants in the mornings, and we’ve been updating the database on bryophytes (bryophyte portal) because there are a lot of specimen that were found, but not recorded. We’ve also been becoming more experienced with TaleBlazer; each person created his/her own game and implemented different game elements, such as music, videos, questions, beacons, and more. I’m excited to start our actual game because combined, I think our team will be able to code implement different mechanics to make the game more engaging. In the beginning, I thought TaleBlazer would be very limited in what we could code because all the games we played with it were very similar, but the more I use it, I realize you do have more freedom. Even though the format is all the same, the content of the game could be very complex to make an engaging game. Tomorrow we’re going to the Lincoln Park Conservatory to learn more about plants :). 

Hunter– Hello Again Everybody, 

So far the program has not completely been what I was expecting.  I thought we would be doing much more recording of the plants.  However, instead we have spent much more time learning about the specimens housed in the museum and the inner workings of the museum.  We have also met many more people who work here, such as Yarency, Selma, Glenn, and Gabe. Overall, the experience has been even more informative on how work as a scientist is the I thought it would be.

Day 5 – No Blogs 

Day 4- June 29, 2017

IsaiahMatt showed us some fossils, one of which was about 300 million years old. If I were that plant what would I know? Well for one I’d know the climate, what creatures roamed during that time period, if there were any animals and what kind. Though, my knowledge may have been limited to the area in which I was growing.

Allison- Today in the morning, we went up to the hidden third floor and were able to look at fossils and various specimen stored up there. Did you know there are over 300,000 species of JUST flowering plants up there? We got a really cool tour and presentation by Matt and showed us some fossils that were over 300 million years old. To put that in perspective, dinosaurs are only about 17 million years old. Yikes. We also saw some of the actual artifacts that were on display in the first World’s Fair back in the 1800s. After lunch, we played Sturbridge, a pretty complex TaleBlazer game to see what else we could learn. At first I thought I ended with $51 in debt, but it turns out I had $352! Lesson: save your money and keep the kids on the farm. To end off the day, we started to Remix, basically change components, of a very simple game to become familiar with the TaleBlazer software. Tomorrow we may even start coding our own little games! I think this is the one time a year I don’t want tomorrow to be Friday! This week is going by too quickly!-Allison

Uma- Today in the Botany department, we were given a tour. We viewed how the multitude of specimens were organized. Matt, the scientist we will be working with, gave us the histories of some of specimens he showed to us. He taught us about the real life applications of research done in the botany department. He related anecdotes about specimens to understanding topics ranging from what the world used to be like millions of years ago to climate change to murder investigations. We also began playing with TaleBlazer, which we will be using to make our app for the botany area of the museum. 

Camela- So….. Today at the Field, the interns and I took a trip up to the secret 3rd floor of the museum. Matt, the scientist, was graceful enough to show us the in-depth specimen, Herbarium. These large cases housed the specimens that weren’t on display in exhibits in the museum. By far, the best part of the tour was being able to carry the specimens myself.

Jenny–  Today, we went up to the staff only 3rd floor. We visited the plant specimen shelves with Matt the scientist and he described how many scientists came all over the world to use our resources. He also specifically told us what epiphytes were: plants that grow on another plant. After a tour of the storage of specimens, he brought out a few mind blowing things. He showed up specimens from as early as the 1700s and how they were discovered by people who were quite famous. One thing that fascinated all of us were the fossils of plants he had. He showed us a fossil of a fern that was from 300 million years ago and a ginkgo leaf from 180 million years ago. It was incredible to think about how these plants that are still seen today existed before even humans did. Then we visited the secret 4th floor that even janitors don’t know about. We saw things from the Colombian Exposition from the ORIGINAL exhibits. It was amazing. We came back to the studio later and played some competitive uno and then proceeded to learn about TaleBlazer again. Then we started to actually change up a game, editing it to make it unique and fun. Overall rating: 9/10

Hunter- Hello Again Everybody, today we got a tour of the upper levels of the field museum from Matt the botanist.  It was very eye opening.  There were rows upon rows of storage and cabinets in order to hold all the plant specimens.  I was surprised to see how some of them were being stored on nothing more than 50 year old newspaper.  He showed us some specimens, including a fossil of a fern that was 300 million years old.  Though there was a lot of interesting stuff that we saw, my favorite things were the jars and specimens that were shown in the Columbian Exposition.  It really gave us a sense of how much history is behind the museum.

Day 3- June 28, 2017

UmaToday we played the game that last year’s digital media interns made. At the end we tried to take a photo of all of us together for the picture contest which was to feature us jumping up together but it didn’t really work. Playing last year’s game and taking the picture let us have a lot of laughs and overall today was a really fun day.

JennyWe began the day with another game of Egyptian Rat Screw and I was the first person out of the game. It was enjoyable to meet the teachers (Christine and Jennifer) working and learning with us. We all went to the plant hall with Mr. Bill Burger and he generously gave us a detailed tour. It included interesting facts about specific plants and also a description of almost every case and category within the plant hall. His explanation of the milkweed plant particularly stood out to me and how Monarch butterflies/caterpillars learned to use the poison to their advantage, making themselves poisonous. We then played the game last year’s interns created and discussed it, as well as brainstormed different mechanism possibilities of this year’s game.

Overall rating: 9/10

Allison– Today was day three at the Digital Learning Internship! We met Mr. Bill Burger and he gave us a very thorough tour of the Plant Hall and then we played the plant hall game from last year. I thought the game was interactive and required us to actively walk around the entire exhibit, but I wish it had more questions that would require the player to read through the information. After lunch, we began brainstorming and mind dumping through everything we talked about in the morning in order to start coming up with a theme for our game. We want to decide on a pretty solid theme before actually starting to make the game so we decide on something we can all work with. Personally, I’d love it if the game was Harry Potter related *cough cough Neville Longbottom* but I’m pretty open to anything! Until tomorrow! –Allison

HunterHello Again Everybody! Today we met the Field Museum’s Curator Emeritus Bill Burger.  He really was a very interesting man.  He knew tons of facts about each of the plants in the botany hall and he put them to good use while he took us on a tour through the exhibit.  For example, he taught us that poison ivy and mangoes are related and that if you are allergic to poison ivy, you can’t eat mangoes.  He also told us about interesting plants such as welwischia and the victorian lily.  He also knew much of the museum’s history and told us about how the museum was once about to be turned into a hospital for WWI as well as about the time Princess Diana came to the museum.

Camela– Today the interns and I explored the Plant Hall Exhibits with the well known and very interesting scientist Bill Burger. Walking through the hall introduced me to the complex workings of botanist and the level of detail required to create such an extensive exhibit. The Plant Hall tour also helped get the wheels turning for our game design. By taking into consideration some of the experiences the interns and I had while in the Plant Hall, we brainstormed different ideas for characters and setting for the game design. Getting to meet the teachers was cool. Jennifer was really nice and super helpful when we though of different ways to change the theme in Uno. today was a cool day.  

IsaiahToday was pretty fun. We drew on the board and met two new people today. We met two scientists, went to the plant hall, and tried out last year’s botany game. After learning a bunch of stuff we attended a presentation during lunch about underrepresentation of certain groups of people. When we were back in the Learning Center remade tic-tac-toe and gave UNO a story then proceeded to look further into the elements of games and discussed possible components we could put into our game. 

Day 2- June 27, 2017 

AllisonHi guys! Today was day 2 of our Digital Learning Internship! In the morning, we explored the bird hall and took notes on elements, components, and visitor behavior, making note of what worked really well and what we thought could be improved on. We thought the tablets should be a little more simpler and more interactive components should be included, such as a lever that could be spun that would make a display bird’s wings flap. After lunch, we dove deeper into game making, playing a sample game in the Bird Hall and learning about game components and mechanics. Carolina gave us a quick lesson on TaleBlazer which we’ll be using to code our game. Afterwards, Keith came in and talked to us about what it’s like to make a game and we played a game called Spunky Spelunky in order to get a feel of what our game would be like. Starting to play these kind of games is getting me excited to start coding our own game!!

IsaiahToday was fun. We tried out some taleblazer games, we had a good chat at lunch, learned a bit more about game design, and played spunky spelunky! Can’t wait to actually start working on the app.

Jenny– Today was extremely enjoyable. We first came in and got warmed up with an ice breaker, specifically Egyptian Rat Screw, a card game. I lost but overall, it was fun. Then, we went to the bird hall, where we observed both the exhibit layout itself and the people visiting the exhibit. We discussed how our findings and how to incorporate that into our mindsets when thinking about audiences. After lunch, we returned to the bird hall to test TaleBlazer out. We played a game that included walking around and choices to understand the basic mechanics of the way TaleBlazer worked. Then, Keith joined us to teach us some basics about games and introduced us to a game called Spunky Spelunky. All of us got quite frustrated with the game because it kept causing us to lose ore, the currency of the game, through our actions. Overall rating of Day 2: 8/10

Camela Today we all went deeper into exhibit designs by observing the Bird Hall at the museum. This experience made me reflect upon all the though that goes into creating a museum exhibit. There are tons of small details that go into consideration before even drawing up blueprints for new exhibits. I think this experience will help the other interns and I figure out how our project fits into the overall layout of the Leaf exhibit(where our game will be placed).

UmaHello! Today we observed visitors in the bird area of the museum. We identified the different audiences the exhibits and accompanying technology was geared towards and how effective or ineffective these technologies were in satisfying what the visitors wanted out of the exhibits.

We also played a game made in Trailblazer for the bird areas. Carolina familiarized the group with the beacons and Trailblazer a little bit and then we discussed the components of games with Keith afterwards. I really enjoyed our discussion about games and identifying games with different specific components because it really made me redefine the word “game.”  Our discussions helped me view the process of playing the Trailblazer game in the bird area with a different perspective.

HunterHello Again Everybody! Today we took a look at the bird hall and observed both how it was set up and how the people moved through it.  I really looked at the exhibit in a completely new way. For example, I never thought that the reason the iPads in the hall are all set up so low is to both make it easily reachable to its target audience, little kids, and to make it accessible to wheelchair-bound people.  It was also interesting to see how people of different ages and personalities interacted differently with the exhibit.  The birds themselves were neat as well and if I would have to choose a favorite, I think I would go with the bald eagle.  Its fierce shape and white and brown color-scheme make it very striking.

Day 1 Blogs – June 26, 2017

IsaiahMy first day of the internship started off rather boring. Mainly because it started off with paperwork and waiting in line for taking the pictures for IDs, but after that it was fun to meet and interact with my fellow interns in this program. Lookin’ forward to the future days and weeks to come!~

JennyMy first day of work began stressful. Waking up so early was making me groggy and the amount of information they were explaining in orientation was quite overwhelming. However, when Erin came to pick us up from the orientation room, my entire morning lit up. We all ate outside as a group, bonding over things like where would we go on vacation, and then playing a fun round of mafia. When we finally sat down in the digital studio, I was enthusiastic and excited. We got to know the basic rules of the studio and each other. Afterwards, Keith introduced us to wonky-rule-uno, which was extremely fun and enjoyable. Overall, waking up in the morning paid off.

Rating of day: 9.5/10

UmaHello everyone! Today I attended orientation. There were nearly 60 people from various internships and programs there, so talking to different people from different places in the Chicagoland area was really nice.

After orientation, we had lunch and then went to the Digital Learning Studio with the five other interns in my program. Here we went over expectations of the program and got to know each other a little better. The goal of the program I am a part of is to create a game that will contribute to an exhibit. We did a fun activity where we played different versions of Uno and analyzed the effect of adding different rules to the game in order to show ourselves that games are something we’re capable of creating.

Allison – Hi everyone!! My name is Allison, I’m 17 years old and going to be a senior at Stevenson High School in the fall! This summer I’m participating in the Digital Learning Internship at the Field Museum from June 26 to August 4. A quick overview of the internship real quick: within these six weeks, we’re going to be learning about botany and coding a game centered about the plant hall for museum visitor’s to play. Throughout the internship, we’ll be working regularly with botanists and game designers and taking a few field trips within the Chicago area! Today was our first day and one thing that surprised me the most was that there were so many different internships going on at the same time! At orientation, I expected maybe 20 high schoolers, but there were probably around 60 today. It’s exciting to see so many teens in the area interested in various science and technology related fields! I met the rest of the Digital Learning team–Camela, Hunter, Isaiah, Uma, and Jenny– plus Keith, Erin, Olivia, and Carolina! We seem to work together really well and are all from different backgrounds and have different interests. I look forward to working with them and can’t wait to see what we will make as an end project. Stay tuned for more updates!

Hunter- Hello Everybody! The first day of my learning digital learning internship is over.  It was certainly quite exciting.  After filling out all my forms and getting my ID badge at the orientation, I was able to meet the other members of the internship for the first time.  Everyone in the group is very fun and kind.  The adults running the program were great as well.  Their life stories were all very interesting, such as Erin’s stay in Croatia or Carolina’s years in Turkey.  We ended the day by meeting Keith and playing the many exciting variations on Uno he had discovered. After this eventful first say, I can’t wait to find what the others have in store.

Camela– Today I got to meet my fellow summer interns and learn more about their personalities and hobbies. We got to learn about each other through games and various ‘get-to-know-you’ type activities. In the beginning, we were a little awkward around each other, now reservations have passed and we are like the best of coworkers. Today was a cool day!

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