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Fun learning app that kept kids who were home-schooling occupied during Covid lockdowns


UK Research and Innovation, Natural History Museum, Sky, University of Exeter


Augmented Reality, Learning, Science Engagement, Future of Museums


Augmented Reality, Unity MARS, Body Tracking


To find a way for new technologies to help kids stuck at home during Covid lockdowns to learn and for Museums to reach audiences while their buildings were shut



Created the overall concept and design and delivered all art, interactions, animations, code and gameplay


My Dino Mission AR, created by 42 Kids in partnership with the Natural History Museum, is a free cutting-edge app for children aged 7-10 years old. The app enables budding young palaeontologists to help a stranded dinosaur get back to its own time period many millions of years ago. 

The user experience:

Combining the latest augmented reality technology with STEM skills, children can recognise a dinosaur's species, what it eats, likes and needs to survive. Young explorers can capture fun photos of themselves interacting with their new dinosaur friend in the backdrop of their home or back garden.  


The app is narrated by popular science presenters Maddie Moate and Greg Foot, known for engaging kids with science via platforms including the BCC and YouTube.

The backstory:

The collaboration is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and explores new types of digital, home-based cultural and learning experiences as part of the Boundless Creativity programmes, a major new campaign created and supported by UKRI’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What the partners said:

“We’re delighted to be collaborating across industry to explore new, innovative technology in these unprecedented times, whilst continuing to provide our young audiences a window into the world of dinosaurs.”

Alex Burch, Head of Public Programmes at the Natural History Museum


John Cassy, Founder and CEO of Factory 42, added: “With museums having to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic, we are proud to have responded by very rapidly developing a playful, creative and innovative way for children to engage with and learn about science from home. We are very grateful to Innovate for its support in enabling Factory 42 to expand and begin innovating in the fast-growing children's interactive content market. New immersive technologies like augmented reality provide an incredible opportunity to think differently about how to introduce young audiences to science and the natural world and we hope children will enjoy the experiences the apps offer.”


UK Research and Innovation challenge director, Andrew Chitty, said: “The Covid pandemic has been an enormous challenge to all of the Audience of the Future projects who were planning live experiences during 2020. The My Dino Mission AR and My Robot Mission AR augmented reality apps demonstrate the incredible agility, creativity and innovation needed to meet that challenge by creating experiences that can reach new audiences at home. Live experiences will  return but our world class creative industries have shown they can continue to create striking new ones to captivate the public’s imagination and help grow the UK’s global, market-leading position in creative content whatever the circumstances. And it’s just one of the ways in which we’re investing for impact.”    

Maddie Moate, YouTuber and BAFTA-winning presenter, said: “I am on a mission to spark curiosity about the wonders of science and technology learning. So I’m thrilled to have narrated these fun, new apps that bring children closer to the fascinating worlds of dinosaurs and robotics. ”

Greg Foot, BBC science broadcaster and popular YouTuber, commented: “I’m so excited about these innovative AR apps and it’s a pleasure to have my voice as part of them! They give children the opportunity to put themselves in the shoes of engineers and paleontologists and experience how they go about inventing and discovering"

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