The Ball State Field Trips project will culminate Oct. 25 with an hour-long TV broadcast on all PBS stations across Indiana at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The “Indiana Pioneers | 200 Years of Incredible Hoosiers and BIG Ideas” Field Trip was a partnership between Ball State, the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of State Parks.

A team of students and faculty spent the summer creating content for the app and website. The app will provide a second screen experience during the broadcast.

Ball State students can watch the broadcast at either 10 a.m. or 1 p.m on WIPB or online through a live stream at

“The host might say, okay, we’re about to learn about this place, we have a question for you. It will actually send a survey question to everybody’s iPad or to their Chromebooks and ask all the kids this survey,” Riley Paulsen, designer, said. “This is targeted at fourth graders.  They’ll be able to answer [the survey] and then we can show a graph of all the responses on the iPad.  They can also see additional, supplemental content to the stuff that’s being described on screen just to give them some extra info.”

Fourth grade is the age that Indiana students learn about the state’s history. The Field Trips took advantage of 2016 being Indiana’s bicentennial and used that as their theme. In the past, Field Trips has done live broadcasts, but this is the first time that the second screen technology is being utilized.

“The idea is to kind of bridge the gap between the live TV show, where you can’t really interact with the TV show other than just watching it," Paulsen said. "It’s a one way communication, whereas this lets kids have input and be able to respond to the things that they’re seeing and learning.” 

There is a bunch of extra supplemental content to go along with this project just to keep the kids engaged, she said.

Teachers can get onto the website and access pre-made content and lesson plans for them to discuss with their classes, such as articles about famous Indiana pioneers, photos of artifacts and videos that were filmed all over the state. 4,655 students in 162 classrooms are currently signed up online for the material, but a sign-up is not required.

The broadcast will be run by Digital Corps students and staff members from University Media Services.

“Since it’s live, we only have one shot at this to get it right so there’s a lot of pressure, but there’s also been a lot of planning that’s gone into it. We have everything timed down to the second,” Paulsen said.

Grace Winiger and Sydney Patton, both senior visual communications majors, were co-lead designers on the project and designed the website and app.

“It started with Brandon [Smith], our boss, wanting us to create a new logo and branding … and then we started making the website for Field Trips,” Patton said.

As part of their job, member of the Field Trips team did workshops for teachers at the Indiana State Museum, where they heard stories about the places where they taught. The workshops also served as brainstorming sessions for topics that the team wanted to talk about in Indiana.

“It was really great meeting all of them and hearing their stories from where they were teaching and where they come from … obviously they all came up with different ideas because they’re all from around different places, so it was really nice getting their feedback and just getting their input of what they wanted to see put into the app ... it definitely kept us focused on fourth grade learning,” Wininger said.