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Ball State Students Provide Peek At Free State Park Apps, July 19

Last updated on Tuesday, July 16, 2013

(UNDATED) - Seven Ball State students will offer a sneak peek at smartphone apps they developed that show history tours of several Indiana state parks on July 19.

The free event, during which attendees will have a hands-on chance to try the apps, is at Mounds State Park in Anderson.

The students will present the DNR Division of State Parks & Reservoirs with the apps at the start of the program, which runs from 10 to 11 a.m. Apps to be presented include tours of Mounds as well as Indiana Dunes, Pokagon, Turkey Run, McCormick's Creek and Lincoln state parks. Plans are to add app tours of more state parks later this year or next.

The apps are being developed to help DNR's preparation for the centennial anniversary of Indiana State Parks in 2016.

To fund the effort, the students received a BSU Provost Immersive Learning Grant to do the project under Dr. Ronald Morris, a history professor at the university. Participating students include Ran An, Josh Lowe, Michael Smith, Jacob van Brunt, Kristen West, Erica Wurst and Weijian Zheng.

After the students' 15-minute presentation about the project, attendees will be able to try the apps on smartphones and tablets, which will be provided, as will light refreshments. The apps are not yet approved for download.

The students for the project were pulled from several different Ball State majors including history, computer science and telecommunications. The students researched, wrote, collected photos, created video, and designed and coded the apps. Still in testing, the apps will be available for free this fall from the Google Play store for use in Android format. An iPhone application is also under development for release later in the fall.

The DNR will announce when the apps are available and post them for download on its website and various social media platforms.

Mounds State Park (stateparks.IN.gov/2977.htm) is at 4306 Mounds Road, Anderson, 46017. The usual $5-per-vehicle gate fee for in-state residents will be waived for those attending the event.

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