A University of Dundee student has developed a unique way of delivering learning for young people outdoors, amid lockdown.
Christie Wilson, from Largs, created Outside of the Box as part of her final year studies at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design.
The project uses a smartphone app and a physical ‘box kit’ to allow school pupils to engage their creativity and explore the outdoors while they are not learning together in school.
Christie, 21, designed the kit to allow each pupil to create their own identity by building a box.
The app suggests different walks and parks to visit around their hometown, and provides different challenges and tasks for the pupils to complete while they are photographing their box.
The participants take photos of their box at each challenge location and are then able to see where their classmates have visited to create connections between one another and help each other to discover new locations.
The leader board within the app shows the number of locations each pupil has explored, adding a competitive element to the challenge.
“In times when young people can’t collectively learn and grow together, it has never been more important to keep communication going and ensure that every young person has similar learning experiences to if they were still in school,” said Christie.
“I came up with the idea last summer when I was working at a kids camp in Canada. It was really interesting to see them in this environment where they were really engaged in outdoors activities and not stuck on their phones all the time.
“The outdoors is a real interest of mine and I wanted to find some way of combining education with the physical and mental health benefits of getting outside.
“It’s not realistic to expect young people to suddenly give up on smartphones so we have to find ways of encouraging them to use them positively.
“I had originally conceived of the idea with teenagers in mind, but since lockdown started I’ve tweaked the project so younger children can take part as well with the help of their parents.”
While Outside the Box has only been developed as a prototype for the moment, Christie is keen to take the project further when she qualifies as a teacher.
She is one of more than 300 students exhibiting at the Art, Design and Architecture Graduate Showcase 2020, an online display taking place in the absence of the annual degree show.
The Art, Design and Architecture Graduate Showcase 2020 is available to view from June 12 at www.dundee.ac.uk/graduateshowcase.