App connects kids to the outdoors

SEFS Professor Josh Lawler

Technology is a big part of our lives today, but that means kids spend less time outside. But what if we combine the two?

That’s the aim of an app developed by School of Environmental and Forest Sciences professor Josh Lawler and the University of Washington Information School.

Nature Collections provides a platform for children to build photo collections from what they see and encounter outdoors. Similar to popular apps like Pokemon Go and other games, it allows them to collect items and compete in scavenger hunts.

Lawler and iSchool professor Katie Davis first introduced their idea in 2016, when they won $400,000 in funding for the app from the UW Innovation Awards. After developing the app, testing with kids began, and the early results are promising.

Read the full story of the app and its reception published in Washington Trails magazine and posted on the iSchool’s website.