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This student-made app lets you take an augmented reality walk through Pacific’s history

If you’ve ever walked past the columns near the library and wondered where they came from or thought about the history of Burns Tower, you’re in luck—now there’s an app for that. 

Tiger Strides is a GPS-enabled augmented reality tour that highlights iconic locations on Pacific’s Stockton campus and connects them to student activism.  

The app is the product of this year’s five-week Pacific Advanced Collaboration Summer Fellowship at the University Library, an annual program where students get hands-on experience working on creative cross-disciplinary projects and learn real-world skills. The six members of the team were paid a stipend of $3,000 each. The project brought together students from disciplines ranging from history to computer science. 

“Part of Pacific’s educational and pedagogical values is to expose people to a wide variety of opportunities and enable them to participate, even if it’s not their major,” said program adviser Lisa Cooperman, the university’s curator and assistant professor at the library. 

History major Lorenzo Spaccarelli ’24 applied for the fellowship intrigued by the opportunity to explore Pacific’s history and to learn more about augmented reality and gaming software. While doing history research was not new to Spaccarelli, making a presentation of his findings in the form of a computer game was definitely a learning curve. 

“It’s not every day you get to build an app for your phone,” said Spaccarelli. “Learning how to build an app was probably the most unique skill that I never really anticipated that I would learn. Building an app using the Unity Game Engine was huge. That was never something that I thought was in the cards while I was pursuing my history major.” 

“It’s a really cool app, honestly, and the process has taught me a lot,” said computer science major Thypien Son ’22. “It taught me how to work in a team with people who aren’t actually like me most of the time, in the sense of our majors. But it also taught me how to use my skill set to connect with them and learn their skill set to make my work better. And I feel like that’s something I can apply in the real world for my career.”   

The 2021 summer fellows also included music education major Braydon Ross ’23, political science major Harleen Kahlon ’23, biological sciences major Kaitlyn Imada ’22 and international relations major Jamie Chesbrough ’22.   

Supported by faculty and staff, the team took ownership of the project doing everything from start to finish. During the intense five-week process, they collaborated on archival research and graphic design, recorded narrations, captured drone images and coded. They even designed T— a cute tiger cub avatar which became the Tiger Strides mascot.  

You can download the app now from the App Store or Google Play. 

Watch the video below to learn more about the fellowship.

1 thought on “This student-made app lets you take an augmented reality walk through Pacific’s history”

  1. I can feel the excitement the students bring to this project and the love of the various disciplines combined to produce a fun and useful product for so many. Kudos for a job well done!

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