The QUT Centre for Data Science is celebrating its graduates. Meet Hannah Ford Morgan who just graduated with a Master of Philosophy.
Establishing and presenting a novel step-by-step system to create tabletop board games that can promote STEM concepts like data science to broad audiences through a mixture of tactile play, interpersonal interactivity, and strategic thinking.
How did you come to an MPhil on this? Did things change along the way?
I initially had a game stall at QUT where I was developing board games and testing them with students and was invited to try and make a game with ACEMS (the predecessor to the CDS) for the Virtual Reef Diver project. That game ended up having a big print with more games planned. At that point, we decided on a master’s project to gather data on efficacy and to contribute to knowledge on this growing field. I initially aimed to make two games and record the process. But the master’s became, in the end, a checklist for interactivity, an online guide called the Bridge Guide to STEM Tabletop Game Production, and 7 games! Each game was a collaboration with a scientist in that field. It was a lot of fun learning about so many different disciplines and meeting such passionate and intelligent folks.
Completing a master’s was one of the longest and hardest journeys I’ve ever completed. I had two children, a divorce, and changed other jobs about 6 times throughout the years. I eventually did it part-time, but it was a great guiding light and ultimately I’m so happy to have been supported by my supervisory team, the CDS, and all the wonderful folks who have helped me along the way.
What else did you do at QUT besides your MPhil?
I tutored, ran game workshops at schools with the games, and coordinated a program for sending Data Science/STEM Print and Play and physical games to schools around Australia.
How was your experience with the Data Science Centre?
It was so wonderful. The admin team, the staff, the leadership, other students, and just everyone have been so wonderful to know. I feel very privileged to have spent the last few years in such good and talented company.
What’s next for you?
I’m focusing now on building up my own tabletop game production and distribution with Guildmaster Games. I still have a passion for STEM communication, Data Science and education, and would love to keep making and promoting games to audiences in Australia and around the world!