Third- through sixth-grade students are featured in a new GPS-triggered audio tour of Teton Valley, Idaho on the free TravelStorysGPS™ app. The tour was designed and written by the students as part of an in-depth historical and geological study of the valley. This TravelStorysGPS™ app provides an interactive, memorable experience of Teton Valley and connects listeners to the landscape in a unique way.

Laurel Loveland, TVCS Head of School, said, “At TVCS, students learn through projects that allow them to experience and solve real-world problems. This project, combining the students hard work with the expertise and guidance of TravelStorysGPS™, shows us just how real-world these projects can become.”

On an early September field trip last year, TVCS third- through sixth-graders explored Grand Teton National Park with a GPS device that explained the surroundings as they traveled through. On the way home the buzz was, “We need a guide for Teton Valley!” Students turned this idea into a project and posed the question: “How can we, as historians and geologists, use technology to teach visitors about our valley?”

Much of their research was done on field trips to the Teton Valley Museum, Mountain Man Museum, Jackson Hole Historical Society and geologic studies at Grand Targhee. After becoming experts on various topics, students collectively decided that the most successful way to share their work would be to create a mobile app.

TravelStorysGPS, an organization based in Jackson, Wyoming that partners with local experts to create mobile app “tours” of the surrounding area, agreed to publish the students’ project. Using the students’ images, voice recordings, and GPS data points, TravelStorysGPS hosts the student-written Teton Valley Tour on its app. After downloading the app, travelers interested in learning about the area can drive through Teton Valley and listen to the stories, information and research done by TVCS’ third- through sixth-graders.

Curriculum designed by TVCS faculty will be made available so that teachers anywhere can use the app as a teaching guide for their students. Loveland also added, “We’re thrilled to share this exciting experience with other schools and can’t wait to hear how our students help educate the public about this valley we all love.”

TravelStorysGPS™ founder and CEO, Story Clark said, “I have always wanted to involve students in TravelStorysGPS story development because of their enthusiasm for mobile technology and its great potential for education. Teton Science Schools, in its characteristically innovative way, found my platform and incorporated its architecture into their place-based curriculum. These young third- through sixth-grade students used the app’s design to research and develop a wonderful tour.”

The high-quality TravelStorysGPS™ mobile app and tours are accessible via smartphones and tablets and available for free at the Apple Store and Google Play. Download today and take your Teton Valley Community School Student tour.

For more information on this project and project-based learning at Teton Valley Community School, please contact Laurel Loveland, Head of School, at (208) 787-0445 or email laurel.loveland@tetonscience.org.