Age Level

Alien Rescue is targeted for 6th graders. However, with proper adjustment from the teachers, it has been used with 5th through 9th graders. Teachers’ manual provides essential information for making this adjustment.

Structured Problem

Alien Rescue engages students in developing a solution to an ill-structured problem. This allows students the opportunity to deal with a complex problem where they must identify their own learning needs and discriminate among several viable options. Students develop the skills they need to deal with problems they encounter in the real world. 

Multimedia-Enriched Cognitive Tools to Support Knowledge Construction

Alien Rescue provides a number of cognitive tools that support students in gathering information, organizing it in ways meaningful to themselves and sharing that understanding with others. 

Meaningful Learning 

All activities in Alien Rescue are grounded in students’ efforts to develop a solution plan to the core problem; therefore, students come to see knowledge as a tool that can be used to solve problems and understand the world. 

Ownership of the Learning Process

The central problem in Alien Rescue is highly motivating to this age level. As students become involved in the storyline, they generate their own learning needs and actively seek resources to meet those needs. 

Curriculum Integration

Alien Rescue focuses primarily on space science, but also draws on knowledge from a variety of curriculum areas in order to simulate the solving of complex problems in real life. It addresses National Science Standards and aligns closely with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) 

Incorporation of Research into Development

Alien Rescue is guided by current findings in educational research. Results of formative evaluation and formal research studies ensure that it is sound in theory and effective in practice.