Mars Quest Online

September 1st, 2001 - February 29th, 2008 | PROJECT

MarsQuest Online is an exploration-based website designed to complement the innovative MarsQuest traveling exhibit launched by the Space Science Institute (SSI) in 1997. "MarsQuest Online" will enhance and extend the exhibit, which is currently on a six-year, 18-city tour. TERC, working in collaboration with the Space Science Institute and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), will create a virtual version of the exhibit using software such as Java, Quicktime VR and JPL's sophisticated MarsNet Viewer system. Users will be immersed in an integrated, interactive environment complete with the tools and resources to carry out investigations and enhance inquiry-based learning. "MarsQuest" will expand users' understanding of the history of Mars, scientific exploration, the climate and related earth science concepts, while enabling them to follow the exploration of various landers and orbiters, and access NASA scientists. A diverse collection of Guided Inquiry experiences will foster the ability of users to develop inquiry and analysis skills, while offering options for novice, intermediate and advanced learners. Finally, a comprehensive evaluation plan will examine how the website and exhibit compare in promoting the understanding of science, broadening public interest in space exploration, and motivating further learning. The site will be promoted for use by schools as a tool for teaching earth science and space exploration. It is estimated that 300,000 people will visit "MarsQuest Online" annually.

Project Website(s)

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Project Products

Team Members

Daniel Barstow, Principal Investigator, TERC Inc
Paul Dusenbery, Co-Principal Investigator, Space Science Institute
Paul Andres, Co-Principal Investigator, NASA
Chris Randall, Co-Principal Investigator, TERC Inc


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 0104589
Funding Amount: 917228


Audience: Educators | Teachers | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Climate | Geoscience and geography | Space science
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Games | Simulations | Interactives | Media and Technology | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media