Authentic and Data-driven
SIMOC provides both citizen scientists and students of physical and virtual classrooms an interactive, engaging interface to an authentic, data-driven habitat simulation. The learning experience is more profound that just selecting which food crop to plant or the quantity of solar panels to provide electricity. SIMOC users gain an improved understanding of the challenges of long-duration human space exploration and a renewed appreciation for how their food and metabolism is already part of a vast, intricate bioregenerative process here on spaceship Earth.
The SIMOC web interface provides clear, step-by-step introductions to mission planning. The provided Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aligned curriculum guides students in preparing a hypothesis, testing, and then revising that hypothesis with subsequent SIMOC simulation runs.
Science centers, planetariums, and after-school programs can go much deeper, building their own curricula around the myriad subjects SIMOC interweaves: setting mission objectives, varied power generation and storage, human and plant metabolism, mechanical life support systems, and the symbiotic relationship between humans and their environment. This is too easily taken for granted on planet Earth, but will be mission critical on a remote planet, moon, or asteroid.