Today’s post comes from Jamie Richardson in the Department of Education and Public Programs at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
Last month in celebration of Presidents’ Day, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum launched a free iPad app that brings American history to life for upper elementary through early middle school students. The Library’s first-ever app release, The JFK Challenge, turns players into NASA and Peace Corps trainees ready to accept President Kennedy’s charge to accomplish great things and make a difference in the world.
Combining exciting animation with primary sources from the Kennedy Library Archives, this immersive app fosters interest in the sciences, exploration, volunteerism and cultural exchange, while providing a window into how John F. Kennedy inspired a generation. Players can personalize their Peace Corps mission in Colombia and journey into space with their own photographs that appear in the games.
As virtual astronauts in the Space Race mission, players travel back in time to train for the Apollo 11 flight. They try on a spacesuit, steer the spacecraft, dodge meteors and explore the Moon’s surface while learning about NASA, space travel, and the first moon walk.
Back on Earth, the Peace Corps mission takes young volunteers on a trip to 1961 in Colombia, where they learn Spanish words, the local culture, and world geography. They use these skills and knowledge to navigate mazes and other games as they help build pathways for clean drinking water and houses in the virtual village.
With more than ten enriching games and activities in the app, players will learn about President Kennedy’s life and legacy, NASA and the first moon walk made by the Apollo 11 mission, the history of the Peace Corps, Colombian culture and world geography.
The JFK Challenge was made possible through a grant from Disney.