"Mystery on Mars" at http://derby.headbone.com

From: BBracey@aol.com (by way of Jan Wee <jwee@mail.arc.nasa.gov>)
Subject: "Mystery on Mars" at http://derby.headbone.com
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 1997 11:38:36 -0600

Dear discuss-lfm members,

Looks interesting...

(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 17, 1997--Headbone Interactive's Internet learning
adventure, The Headbone Derby, launched its third  installment today with a
focus on planetary science.   

As NASA's Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor mission make  their way
toward Mars, fourth through eighth graders will be given  the opportunity to
learn all about the Red Planet by playing "Mystery on Mars" at
http://derby.headbone.com .   

In this Spring edition of the ongoing Derby (available free of  charge), kids
will read a Web-based, comic strip mystery that  motivates them to do on-line
research on the astronomy, geology and  history of Mars in order to resolve
cliff-hanger endings and move  onto subsequent episodes in the story.   

"Our broad objective with the school Derby program is to provide  a tool for
teachers and students to actively learn about the changing ways knowledge can
be accessed in this information age," said Sara  Snyder, educational
marketing manager.  "'Information Literacy' is a  key skill for 21st century
kids -- and adults as well."   

The storyline for Headbone's third Derby dovetails with NASA's  "Live from
Mars" curricular Web Site, which delivers interactive  on-line resources for
teachers and classrooms  (http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/mars).  "Headbone's
'Mystery on Mars'  Derby is fun and educational and engages youngsters
directly.  Thus,  our two sites complement one another perfectly.  Together
they excite and inform students about the wonders of Mars," said Marc Siegel,
Sharing NASA project manager.   

The Mars Derby will run from March 16 through National Science  and
Technology Week (April 20-26), culminating on May 21.  Prizes  such as Laptop
computers, color printers, and photo scanners donated  by sponsors including
Epson, Yahooligans and Storm Technology, will  be awarded to winning teachers
and classroom teams.  Yahoo will be  the featured search engine, giving
teachers customized searching  capabilities.   

"You would not believe how excited my students are about this  game.  They
really enjoy playing," said Renee Kervin of Evansdale  Elementary School in
Doraville, Ga.  "They come to class early,  beg me to stay late, and
occasionally meet after school to search for the answers to episodes we read
earlier in the day."  Evansdale is  one of thousands of schools that have
participated in the Derby to  date.   

Headbone has already assembled some data from its most recent  Derby and is
showing that on average, players are spending over 12  minutes and viewing
over 20 pages each time they go up on the site.   The Derby has recorded an
average of 60,000 page views per day.  All  of this is important as the
company seeks out additional sponsors for its ongoing Derbies.   

"We believe we've created a top-knotch Internet program for  schools, and by
making it free, schools and students across the  nation can easily access and
use it.  We believe advertisers will  support this kind of program because of
its broad reach and value,  and its intrinsic value to our communities and
schools," said  Headbone President Susan Lammers.   

The Headbone Derby is a key feature of the Headbone Zone
 (http://www.headbone.com), the company's newly branded kids' site on  the
World Wide Web.  In addition to the Derby -- designed primarily for school
use -- the Headbone Zone contains a broad array of games,  puzzles and
activities designed for kids 8 through 14.