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Students Work with National Museum of Nuclear Science & History to Enhance Website

Oct. 6, 2016 -- CNM students in the Computer Information Systems (CIS) Program in the School of Business & Information Technology (BIT) have been working with the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History to develop a virtual docent application.
Students Work with National Museum of Nuclear Science & History to Enhance Website

Oct 06, 2016

The application supports real docents as they guide visitors through the museum. Since the application is a website, visitors will be able to continue the museum experience researching and learning about the exhibits online.

Guided by Dr. Alfred Lorber, who is Heritage Park restoration team leader and principle member of technology at Sandia National Laboratories, the students are learning the Agile methodology of professional software development. Lorber had just one word for the students’ work ethic. “Awesome!”

The Agile methodology is known for rapid software development using incremental project management. Within 15 weeks, the students developed a prototype for presentation to the museum’s board of directors.

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The project began when students in Linux and Web programming classes asked their instructor, Paul Clark, for more real-world hands-on experience. In the summer, when students John Cairns, Nicholas Zapata and Scott Neeley enrolled in a CIS program internship course, they were introduced to the project and spent great numbers of hours designing the website and configuring the server infrastructure for the “Virtual Docent” project. Fall internship course students Andrew Kopuscinski and Stephen Gralton have worked to develop and implement the docent project.

John Cairns (Student intern) -- “It was great,” said Cairns. “A different learning experience. A great experience!” said Cairns.  

Alison Schuler, board member and president of the foundation, said the Virtual Docent project is a robust plan for people to visit the museum virtually. “This will help with their strategic initiative to increase digital presence.”