About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5121-5129
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain

MARS ROCKS: CROSS-INDUSTRY COLLABORATION ON A RICH-MEDIA EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE

R. Lachman1, A. Clare2, W. Liberman3

1Ryerson University (CANADA)
2Wero Creative (CANADA)
3TEACH Magazine (CANADA)
Mars Rocks is an innovative blending of video games, commercial media, graphic novels and educational content for a formal, in-school context. The project, built by Wero Interactive, Teach Magazine and Ryerson University, has been pilot-tested in Ontario, Canada and is being revised for rollout across the province. It draws upon interactive content created as part of the Discovery Channel Canada initiative “Race to Mars”, a hard-science-based documentary and mini-series about a human mission to Mars. The 2007 television event, exhaustively researched and created with the input of over 100 scientists and space agencies around the world, included a major interactive and educational-outreach initiative. Mars Rocks re-purposes some of that interactive and media-content and combines it with an episodic graphic-novel storyline and Alternate Reality Game-inspired approach to make an curricular experience for Canadian intermediate-grade classroom. The project was created with a high level of cooperation across broadcaster, media professional, new-media, scientific and educational institutions over a period of five years of production.

Mars Rocks uses an six-episode storyline to motivate students through a scalable collection of Flash games, group-work puzzles, design/artwork, debates and cross-curricular engagement drawn from the Pan-Canadian Science and, more generally, the Ontario intermediate-grade guidelines. The project is based on a customized wiki-model, with students collaborating online and in-class, and with curricular goals integrated into puzzle-solving as students work to advance the storyline. The project also integrates 12 mini-documentaries with video and science-content drawn from the Television series, re-edited and narrated for the target age-range.

This paper will discuss the process used in creating this project, including consultation and work-methodologies to coordinate across educational, academic, commercial and industrial modalities. We will explore the difficulties and benefits of creating educational content with this array of partners, with advice for future content developers. The authors will explore the content as well as preliminary results based on our pilot testing of the project in four schools in the York Board of Education in Ontario, Canada. The paper will conclude with a discussion of how the project will be rolled out to a larger-scale set of classrooms provincially and/or nationally.
@InProceedings{LACHMAN2010MAR,
author = {Lachman, R. and Clare, A. and Liberman, W.},
title = {MARS ROCKS: CROSS-INDUSTRY COLLABORATION ON A RICH-MEDIA EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE},
series = {2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN10 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-9386-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {5-7 July, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {5121-5129}}
TY - CONF
AU - R. Lachman AU - A. Clare AU - W. Liberman
TI - MARS ROCKS: CROSS-INDUSTRY COLLABORATION ON A RICH-MEDIA EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE
SN - 978-84-613-9386-2/2340-1117
PY - 2010
Y1 - 5-7 July, 2010
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN10 Proceedings
SP - 5121
EP - 5129
ER -
R. Lachman, A. Clare, W. Liberman (2010) MARS ROCKS: CROSS-INDUSTRY COLLABORATION ON A RICH-MEDIA EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE, EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 5121-5129.
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