First public demo of “Mission: Water”

“Mission: Water” – a Mixed Reality Experience for Middle School Classrooms.

Demo at SMASH 2018.

“Mission: Water” is a pair of linked Microsoft’s Mixed Reality apps offering middle school students a unique experience in the search for water in the solar system. Under development here at WGBH with teams from WGBH Children’s Media and Education and WGBH Digital Services, the project is at a prototyping stage ahead of classroom testing this fall and deployment early next year.

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Using beautiful 3D imagery this app creates an experience designed for the classroom.

The apps include a parallel experience to allow one player at a time to be the explorer (wearing the Mixed Reality head-mounted display) and other another student or students to act as “Mission Control” using desktop computers, guiding the explorer and reviewing data collected during the game.

Players work in tandem to collaborate and review data in order to discuss and decide the optimal places in the solar system to collect water in support of a fictionalized mission.

The apps will be available for free in 2019 through Microsoft’s app store. Supporting content will be available for free through PBS LearningMedia. Generous funding is provided by Microsoft.

Production Team: Dan Hart, Kennedy Bailey, Jeff Bartell, Sophie Calhoun, Elizabeth Walbridge, and Bill Shribman

PBS LearningMedia: Dr. Rachel Connolly, Jake Foster, Caitlin Steer and Pegeen Wright

External Advisor: Dr. Jim Green, Planetary Science Division Director, Office of the Associate Administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate 

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Road trip to NASA

We got to visit the Goddard Space Flight Center in Baltimore and visit with their Scientific Visualization Studio and Conceptual Image Lab. The trip was part of our work for “Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms.”

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We also got to look in on construction of the new James Webb Space Telescope and its massive folding gold-plated mirror array.

For more: http://www.jwst.nasa.gov/

Funded by NASA*, WGBH’s “Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms” project will develop an extensive collection of K-12 digital resources infused with NASA and WGBH multi-media content to support STEM instruction. These resources will be distributed free of charge through PBS LearningMedia, reaching millions of students and teachers nationally. The material contained in this product is based upon work supported by NASA under cooperative agreement award No. NNX16AD71A. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Parent’s Tech Survey

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Do you know what your kids are doing on Instagram, or who follows them? Does a typical night in front on the TV include an array phones and tablets that are also in use? Do your kids text you from their rooms? Do you resist looking at your phone when you are driving? No, honestly, can you resist looking at your phone when you are driving?

We’re all wrestling with how to fit the abundance of new technologies into our lives. We’re working on a new media & technology project for PBS KIDS starring Ruff Ruffman as a Humble Media Genius. We’d love to hear from you, especially those of you that are parents. Please take a few minutes to take this anonymous survey: it will really help inform what we’re doing! Thank you!

Please take the survey.

Next Gen Goes Shopping

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Next Generation Preschool Science (NGPS) is kicking off the first pilot study — with a whole bunch of iPads! The team will be finding out how preschoolers and teachers use the NGPS simulations and digital toolkit to explore plants in the preschool classroom.

Next Generation Preschool Math just finished a randomized control trial to measure the efficacy of the intervention, so findings are on their way soon! The team will get the results and modify the apps one last time before publish the apps in the Apple App store.