SELMA – July is Parks Make Life Better Month and Selma’s Recreation Coordinator Liz Martinez has a high-tech idea to help several of Selma’s parks live up to that slogan.

Martinez said Selma’s partnered with the California Parks and Recreation Society and the Canadian company to encourage local children and teens to get out more and learn new things while being outdoors and exploring at their neighborhood parks.

“They offer an app called Agents of Discovery and I took advantage of the free opportunity. Agents of Discovery has given me free access to create an active account for the month of July so the youth in our community have the ability use the app in our local parks,” she said.

So far, Martinez has created missions, or challenges, at all of Selma's public parks. Participants play educational challenges within each mission. These will be available to play July 1-31. If enough people download and play the missions, Selma could qualify for an extended free trial. 

“They are super easy and the app is free to download. All you need is an internet enabled device to play. With the app, I encourage children to go explore our parks and to spend some time playing and keeping active while they are there.”

Participants will download Agents of Discovery from their app store and then will be able to immediately view the missions from the app. To have full access, participants create a new account. Once at the mission site - the parks in this instance - players will see a map.

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“It’s very similar to Pokémon GO. The map will lead you to challenges such as the Poké stops, if we are comparing to Pokémon GO. You then complete the challenge.”

The challenges are educational questions or interactive games. You move on to the next challenge once you complete each stop.

Martinez said the challenges will remain the same for one week before she changes them so participants can have different experiences.

“The goal is to just get kids outdoors exploring our parks!”

On their website, Agents of Discovery is described an educational tech platform that utilizes web, mobile and augmented reality technologies to get youth active and engaged in the world around them.

Real-world games called ‘missions’ are created by using an innovative platform called the ‘mission maker.’ The gaming inspires curiosity and engagement while learners move and have fun. Creators can customize content specific to their site and the missions comply with STEM and STEAM curriculum.

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The reporter can be reached at 583-2427 or lbrown@selmaenterprise.com.

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