Verizon | Explorer Lab

IDEO - Experience Design | Game Design | Visual Design | Interaction Design

How enables,
but why motivates

You can't change how science is taught, but you can inspire kids to seek knowledge. With this in mind, Verizon partnered with IDEO to build an immersive mobility lab to help teach underprivileged kids the fundamentals of STEAM.

We learned that kids were bored by science in the classroom, but loved it in games. We met them where they were and built an immersive educational experience to help them get inspired by science through play.

This interactive bus brings 20 students to Mars where they engineer rovers to traverse Mars' dangerous landscape and find the missing Curiosity rover.

We worked with NASA scientists, West Coast Customs, a Hollywood orchestra, a visual effects house, teachers, and dozens of middle school students to inspire the next generation of engineers.

Gameplay & Interface

One of the biggest challenges that we were facing while designing the game was that kids generally ignore instruction in group settings. This required us to rethink how we present information and the layout of elements.  We found most success emulating existing design patterns from familiar interfaces like OSX youtube, RPG’s and driving games.
Ultimately our goal for the game was to teach kids the engineering loop and the process of experimentation using deductive logic. As the rover traverses the challenging landscape, they will run into obstacles and that force them to re-engineer their modular rover to adapt to the environment & conditions. Along the way, the team unlocks access to tools that will help the students discover evidence of life and accomplish the more difficult challenges.

Design & Direction for Products & Experience