Lunar Exploration: Past

Category: Student

Company: Rochester Institute of Technology

Description: The game imitates six exploratory activities that astronauts performed on the Moon, which enable a series of informal learning experiences.

Skills and Ideas Taught: This game provides an immersive storytelling structure to narrate the NASA-inspired lunar exploratory activities. The gaming experience provides the player with the feeling of presence in the lunar environment similar to what the astronauts had experienced. The game teaches the player both factual skills and conceptual ideas. For example, the factual knowledge about lunar rover driving was taught through a simulated terrain traversal mission. The conceptual knowledge of soil sampling and the use of scientific equipment was taught by the play of gamified activities

Goal: While more and more people are attracted to the NASA ongoing Artemis Program that aims to return humans to the Moon in the mid-2020s, we believe it is important for people to experience and learn about the historical Apollo program from 1968 to 1972 that was the first time landing humans on the Moon. The goal of this game is for players not only to learn the facts of the history but also make sense of mission difficulties and technical uniqueness, so that they can better connect with the ongoing science story of the Moon exploration and then further into broader topics of space science and mission challenges. In regards to game development, besides the technical efforts spent on creating realistic models and interactions, we had to overcome design challenges in gamifying the original mission that lasts several hours into a content of playing and learning for several minutes.

Primary Audience: Learners ages 12 and up.

Assessment Approach: Lunar Exploration has both an implicit and explicit reward system. Players have to finish the activities in the current chapter before he or she can move to the next one. The explicit reward system is present in the three gamified tasks. The player will be ranked between one to three gold stars based on the speed to finish the task or the accuracy to label the areas

Game Engine: Unity

Operating System: Windows 10 / Oculus Rift