NASA's Ames Research Center developed a new curriculum to educate the space explorers of tomorrow. The Mars Virtual Exploration CD-ROM results from the efforts of the Educational Multimedia Group in the Office of External Affairs. The CD-ROM is exclusively licensed to Modern School Supplies, Inc., of Bloomfield, Connecticut.
For decades, humans have been fascinated by the mysteries surrounding Mars. What is it like? Was there ever life? Will we live there someday? These questions and others inevitably arise whenever the planet is discussed. This new learning resource presents some potential answers to these questions and will undoubtedly help to cultivate an eagerness to learn more about Mars and our universe.
The CD-ROM allows students to imagine they are residents of a research team at an advanced facility divided into four different domes. Students experience how scientists approach planetary exploration through interactive exercises in ExoPaleontology, Meteorology, Exobiology, and Volcanology. Once the students have learned the facts and have consulted with the experts, they select a potential landing site. Using QuickTimeVRTM software, the students get a 360-degree view of the potential landing terrain. They are then able to virtually explore the four available sites and select the one they feel is best for conducting research.
The Mars Virtual Exploration CD-ROM comes complete with a printable teacher's guide and student logbook. These bonus tools provide additional content and activities for as many as 15 lessons and serve as enhancements to the rest of the material presented.
The CD-ROM is designed to target the interest of fourth through eighth grade students. Modern School Supplies, Inc. now provides students with this opportunity to learn about Mars in an interactive hands-on experience that requires the use of their critical thinking and problem-solving skills--all very valuable assets when exploring the Red Planet. After all, with a manned mission to Mars anticipated for as early as 2018, today's students are tomorrow's astronauts, explorers, and scientists.
QuickTimeVR is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc.
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