The Museum of Science in Boston is taking a bold step into the world of immersive online education with its latest offering on the virtual platform Roblox. The new experience, titled “Mission: Mars,” is a collaborative effort with Filament Games and aims to engage participants in the Engineering Design Process as they work together to design and refine vehicles fit for navigating the red planet.
This marks the Museum’s first venture into the popular global platform known for its immersive 3D experiences. The goal is to captivate students of various ages and provide them with an engaging learning opportunity. Through “Mission: Mars,” participants will collaborate to develop vehicles for navigation and mission completion on Mars, all while learning about science and engineering principles.
Notably, the Museum of Science is the first educational organization to launch an experience under the Roblox Community Fund (RCF) since its inception in November 2021. With an initial endowment of $10 million, the RCF empowers educational organizations to create innovative and engaging learning experiences on Roblox. By leveraging this opportunity, the Museum of Science seeks to build greater equity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.
The “Mission: Mars” experience itself offers a science standards-aligned digital learning environment where participants can immerse themselves in a simulated Martian exploration. From navigating in a hi-tech Mars Rover to conducting level-based missions and collecting water ice samples, the experience is designed to be both informative and enjoyable. There is also a creative element where players can design and build their own vehicles, earning experience points and rewards along the way.
Tim Ritchie, President of the Museum of Science, shared the Museum’s broader ambitions, stating, “The Museum’s entry into the metaverse is part of our aspiration to reach 100 million people in museums, classrooms, and online by 2030, breaking down barriers to engagement and creating greater equity in STEM education. It’s not enough for the Museum to be the most popular destination for families in New England and to share hands-on curricula with educators and millions of students around the world – we also want to leap into the metaverse to meet students where they are with top-quality STEM content.”
The Museum of Science’s integration of the Roblox Metaverse with “Mission: Mars” is indicative of the evolving landscape of educational tools. Initiatives like these not only enhance interactive learning but also showcase the potential of Metaverse technology in opening new avenues for education. By embracing virtual platforms, the Museum is making STEM education more accessible and engaging for students around the world.