Opportunity 2: MoonWorld–Authentic Lunar Geology Fieldwork in a Virtual WorldDated Posted:
Feel like putting on a spacesuit and gamboling in one-sixth gravity
across the surface of the Moon?
With the MoonWorld
virtual environment you can do just that.
students through their avatars play lunar geologists
conducting a lunar field research inquiry. They drive a rover across the surface of the Moon,
closely observing the terrain, collecting samples, and taking measurements to figure out the Moon’s history.
When they return to the lunar base, they synthesize their data and control the life support system to
pump enough water, air, and food.
is based on actual lunar landscapes; NASA spacesuits; base, rover, and life support
concepts; and mission objectives consistent with field exploration. Learners guide their spacesuited avatars to
walk through the world, interacting with it and other avatars, while learning lunar science through virtual fieldwork.
In particular, students build their geology knowledge by focusing on stratigraphy, the study of characteristics,
formation, composition, and sequence of rock layers.
You can’t duplicate these immersive virtual worlds in a classroom or with a normal website.
That’s why MoonWorld
is a new approach to experiential learning funded by NASA.
During a MoonWorld
- Teams of four astronaut explorers work together on the surface of a lunar landscape based upon the Timocharis region of the Earth’s Moon.
- Explorers navigate to 16 field stations where they collect samples, record field observations, and conduct field measurements.
- Explorers drill a 5 km core sample to explore changes in layer characteristics.
- Explorers return to the Moon base research station to analyze and synthesize the rock samples and their
observations to deduce the history of the region.
Both students (ages 9 and up) and adults are welcome to visit MoonWorld
. Educators can register a group of
students for MoonWorld
, which is maintained on our private server to guarantee a safe environment.
Watch MoonWorld on YouTube
- Watch the West Virginia Pubic Broadcasting MoonWorld feature on YouTube.
- Watch the MoonWorld machinima produced by fifth and
sixth grade science students in the German International School in Indonesia.
NASA Education EdLine News Feature.
- Check out
MoonWorld on Daniel Voyager's blog on the top 15 favorite space exploration places in Second Life.
to learn more about MoonWorld
or reserve missions for your students.