February 1, 2013
Selene image from Science Magazine
Big news today. The National Science Foundation and Science magazine announced the winners of their annual science visualization contest. Selene, an educational videogame that players use to build their own moon, tied for highest honors in the Games and Apps category. Selene was created by Debbie Reese and our team at Wheeling Jesuit University. Selene is based on my understanding of the way in which the Moon formed by accretion, and was modified by impact cratering and volcanism. Players learn by their own experience that accretion may lead to a moon like we have, a dead moon too cold for volcanism, or perhaps one that was blasted apart while forming. Successful players realize that impact cratering was not constant through lunar history, nor was volcanism. Selene also encourages players to tie their virtual experiences with eyeball observations of the actual Moon. Selene is a research game and only available for grades 5-12 students to play (in English or Spanish) as part of the WJU research program. If you know a teacher who would like to have their students engage in this visceral learning experience have them visit the Selene website.
There is other, bigger news today - the abstracts for the Lunar & Planetary Science Conference in March have been released.
Yesterday's LPOD: Pastel Evidence
Tomorrow's LPOD: Inites