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2013.04.01 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Communications
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

Middle School Students, UNO Students Produce Art-Education App for Joslyn

Omaha - Eighth grade students from Buffett Magnet Middle School will unveil a new mobile app that will encourage adolescents and teens to understand and appreciate art.

The students will demonstrate the app, which they developed in collaboration with Joslyn Art Museum and University Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Service Learning Academy, Thursday, April 4, at 6 p.m. at a press event at the Museum.

The app offers an interactive scavenger hunt, in which students must find various pieces of art in the museum.

The program, “iArt: For Kids, By Kids,” has been a 10-month work in progress. Joslyn’s interpretive media manager, Laura Huntimer, partnered with Buffett Middle School’s eighth grade language arts teacher, Molly Blackburn, to develop a program to show the students the community connection with the art museum.

The partnership is coordinated by UNO’s P-16 Initiative. As part of UNO’s Service Learning Academy, the P-16 Initiative facilitates partnerships between three key groups:

- UNO students and their teachers
- Pre school-through-high school students and their teachers
- Community organizations and their members

Through these service-learning partnerships, P-16 brings the classroom into the community through application of education to find solutions to real-life problems.

The students have spent the year developing business plans, formal presentations and content for the scavenger hunt app, which is powered by Boston-based Green Door Labs. The April 4 event will give the students an opportunity to demonstrate their work to family and staff.

Nancy Round, Joslyn Art Museum’s director of education and outreach, said the partnership between the organizations is an example of the continued efforts and results oriented goals of service learning.

“As a Museum and an educational institution, we are so pleased to be the community partner in this project,” she said. “The end result — a fun, instructive tool for the public that lends a student voice to art interpretation — adds a new dimension to our offerings at the Museum.

“Even more importantly, the collaborative nature of this project, from brainstorming and presentation to development and launch, provides an educational experience for all involved that has been truly remarkable.”

The app will be available to Joslyn Art Museum visitors this summer in the galleries, which are fully equipped with Wi-Fi.

For questions about the event, contact Huntimer at 402.661.3847, or by email at lhuntmier@joslyn.org. For media requests, contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at 402.554.2129 or by email at cdreed@unomaha.edu, or Amy Freshman at 402.960.7151 or by email at amratliff@unomaha.edu.

The P-16 Initiative works in partnership with Building Bright Futures in an effort to improve academic performance, raise graduation rates, increase civic and community responsibility and ensure all students are prepared for post-secondary education.

The UNO Service Learning Academy facilitates collaborative partnerships between the university and the metropolitan community for the purpose of enhancing student learning; advancing community service and initiatives; and fostering engaged citizenship.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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