Week 5 Critique: Field Trip to Mars


This week, I chose to critique, “Field Trip to Mars”.

An old school bus was transformed by some people at Lockheed Martin to allow students to learn more about Mars while driving around city streets. It is the first ever group VR experience that doesn’t require glasses. They used Unreal Engine to create this amazing experience. The drivable area is 250 square miles.

We’re using innovation to inspire an entire generation to realize how much further they can truly go.
A yellow school bus is transformed into a “bus to Mars” in a virtual reality experience for aeronautical giant Lockheed Martin, to introduce kids to space travel.
The bus uses several sensors to monitor the real world and translate that to a VR experience. Bus goes 30, Mars goes 30; bus turns left, Mars turns left. They even mapped the surface of Mars onto city streets in Washington, D.C. to create a more detailed exploratory experience.

This is what some people have said about the experience.

“Incredibly Inspiring” -Engadget
I think what’s magical is that when the bus starts moving, all of the hardware and wires are not there so you are able to get a completely unique experience.
School officials said an experience like this could inspire students who might not know adults with careers in engineering and the sciences.

This would be a wonderful video to share with students to discuss the communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking that went into designing this bus.

What an amazing experience it would be for kids to be able to take a ride on the bus to witness what it would be like to be on Mars. Students would be so engaged! I use Google Glasses with my students frequently and they enjoy those. I can only imagine their excitement for having the opportunity to experience the Mars bus. My students always want to point out things to other students while they are taking their virtual field trip with Google Glasses. They aren’t able to do that. With the Mars bus, they would be able to share the experience with classmates by pointing things out and having dialog about what they are looking at. This would enrich the experience even more!