Free app for children- available now!
Watch the teaser and download Discover Point Lobos free on the ipad app store today!
Created to help connect young people to the wonders of California’s coast and foster California’s next generation of conservationists, the app is a fun and interactive tool to engage children with our environment. Kids who regularly spend time exploring the outdoors are healthier and have reduced incidence of stress and attention deficit disorders. Research shows that connecting with nature at an early age builds confidence, increases academic performance and helps youth become leaders. And they are generally happier.
California State Parks and the Point Lobos Foundation are focused on finding creative ways to make our parks accessible and meaningful to everyone, with a particular emphasis on youth. By incorporating new technology with our existing school outreach programs, we can actively engage children with their natural environment through interactive and educational tools.
With that in mind, the Point Lobos Foundation has introduced Discover Point Lobos, an iPad app which uses interactive media to bring students into a virtual Reserve for exploration and discovery and giving teachers and students a chance to explore the story of Point Lobos in greater depth in their schools and homes.
Although the content has been developed especially for kids in grades 4 and 5, our school outreach program target age, you’ll find that kids from eight to 80 will enjoy the games and content, which range from simple to more complex. A major feature of the app is the Species Book, which is used to complete the games, and serves as a reference source for the 96 different plant and animal species described, with photos and fun facts about each.
As well as identifying all the varied species along the three trail games, you’ll find among the trail clues, icons that when selected will show short “Ask a Docent” videos of Point Lobos docents and State Parks staff. There are interaction games, Forest “poop” Clues, and the Food Web Game that uses the species cards to drag into place all the various species that are involved in knowing what eats what. A rotating bobcat and a southern sea otter provide a 360-degree look at these interesting animals.
The plant habitats are also featured, along with our iconic Monterey pine and Monterey cypress, and geology gets a section that highlights the funky features of the Carmelo Formation.
Point Lobos has a long and fascinating history of human habitation, and a specially designed time-line, beginning with the Rumsien and Ohlone Indians, sweeps through the centuries with pictures and brief excerpts of the activities that took place at Whalers Cove.
The Rocky Shore provides the Pool Hunt and the Tide Pool games that warm you up to the more complex Ecosystem Game which requires a balanced underwater ecosystem. By adding producers and predators in such a way as to maintain balance in the tide pool, the game continuously shows the predators consuming the producers, while a monitor and a balance gauge show your success, or lack of it, in keeping your tide pool healthy.
Finally, Point Lobos is only partly on land; most of the Reserve is contained in the surrounding 700-plus acres of Marine Protected Area. So, underwater we go with video and photos of the ocean creatures that call water their home, from sea otters and harbor seals to white sharks and orcas. An important safety video by Lifeguard Kevin Brady explains how to stay safe while diving at Point Lobos.
We believe this electronic application will provide an opportunity for kids of all ages to learn about nature in general, and to appreciate the special place Point Lobos holds in providing an unparalleled experience for conservation and respect for all natural things. And, to get excited about getting outdoors!
Discover Point Lobos is available at no cost on the iPad APP Store. Download it today and let us know what you think by completing the survey at the end of the app!
by Fred Brown
Discover Point Lobos was developed by Kip Evans’ Mountain and Sea Productions and funded by California State Parks Foundation, the Yellow Brick Road Benefit Shop, the Nancy Buck Ransom Foundation, individuals through the 2014 Monterey County Gives Campaign and the Point Lobos Foundation.