PBS Kids launches ‘Lifeboat to Mars’ - USA Today

Lifeboat to Mars delivers hands-on biology content through game-based learning.
In LIFEBOAT TO MARS, kids join a spaceship mission to Mars to deliver microbes and a variety of plants and animals needed to start an ecosystem. Unfortunately, an onboard explosion has wiped out part of your cargo. Your mission is to help rebuild the ecosystems by playing two kinds of simulations: one set in a microscopic world called Microbe Games and the other in an ecosystem with animals and plants called Ecoland Games. The Microbe Games are a series of mazes where you steer a microbe through an environment by helping it find food and avoiding predators. The Ecoland Games provide different scenarios where you are given goals and a limited amount of time and resources. Trial and error is the key to success. You can also create your own simulations called "Mods" to share with others.
Lifeboat to Mars is a simulation game that kids play while connected to the Internet
Red Hill Studios is a leading developer of innovative educational games and software. It is also conducting pioneering research on the use of gaming design approaches for education and health. Prior to this collaboration with PBS on LIFEBOAT TO MARS, it partnered with Twin Cities Public Television and PBSKids to create the successful Dragonfly TV games that have been played more than 20 million times since 2006. For additional info, visit the Web site at . Lifeboat to Mars Walkthrough - Microbe level 6Welcome to Lifeboat to Mars on PBS Kids GoLifeboat to Mars | Red Hill Studios
Welcome to Lifeboat to Mars on PBS Kids Go! These fun games will teach you all sorts of things about microbes, plants, and animals!

This walkthrough will demonstrate how to complete level 4 of the Ecoland Starter Games.

Lifeboat to Mars is a free online set of games on PBS Kids Go! produced by Red Hill Studios in association with the National Science Foundation (NSF).

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In addition to the 48 simulations, the game also has a culminating Lifeboat simulation game. By playing the earlier simulations, you earn points to help you complete the Lifeboat simulation. In all, Lifeboat to Mars offers kids hours of fascinating, interactive learning. This has been a really enjoyable game. I have interest in science, and I found the game a fun and challenging experience. Much better than the only other cell-controlling game I know, PBS Kids' "Lifeboat to Mars".
"LIFEBOAT TO MARS is the latest in a series of innovative Web sites and services we've launched in the past year that have been smash hits with kids, including the PBS KIDS GO! and PBS KIDS video players," said , PBS SVP, Interactive. "LIFEBOAT TO MARS is unique in that it will help guide children through biology concepts, but it will also help further develop their scientific thought processes by encouraging them to master levels of the game and then create their own version to challenge others."In the Lifeboat to Mars game, Red Hill created two simulations. One is about microbial function; the other is about ecosystem dynamics. There are a series of levels for each game in which the player must complete the levels in order. In the microbial system, the player has to understand that he or she is going to need mitochondria to process food; otherwise there is no movement to the next level. He said this is called a forced progression. Since the game was launched in early January, Hone said more than 100,000 game levels have been played. In addition, players are provided the tools to build their own levels and upload to PBS for other kids to play. Hone said that more than 1,200 levels have been built. Once you finish each set of starter games, other more difficult games become available. In this manner, Lifeboat to Mars very cleverly leads kids through progressively more difficult material, which builds on the lessons learned in the starter games. , /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Science education just got even more exciting with the launch of LIFEBOAT TO MARS, a fun, new, interactive educational game on . Designed by and PBS KIDS GO! in close collaboration with leading educational researchers and funded by the National Science Foundation ( ), the game follows a unique "staircase" design that merges an educational sequence with more than 40 challenging game levels, eventually leading to the opportunity for kids to "mod," or create, their own version of the game to share with others. As players work to rebuild a virtual ecosystem in outer space, they learn standards-based biology concepts. LIFEBOAT TO MARS is at .