For the first time, NASA has teamed with an animated property to introduce an entertaining educational initiative. The government agency’s Center for Distance Learning has joined forces with the Pokémon trading card game to develop an in-school program that incorporates science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) themes into activity units for students in grades K-6.
Since 1996, more than 13 billion Pokémon trading cards have sold worldwide. The latest collectable set, Pokémon EX Deoxys, centers on a mysterious space virus that mutated into a Pokémon when exposed to a laser beam. Deoxys’ name is derived from deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA, the genetic material of most living organisms, including viruses. The STEM learning units have been developed to exploit kids’ interest in the new trading card game and their fascination with space exploration.
Five interactive activities have been posted on NASA’s Kids Science News Network website and are accessible to students and teachers in the classroom. Subjects include extraterrestrials, viruses, meteorites, DNA and the ozone layer. In addition, Nintendo of America Inc. also produced awareness bracelets and postcards that were distributed to educators nationwide.
NASA Langley’s Center for Distance Learning produces a suite of award-winning television and web series, including NASA’s KSNN, (grades K-5), NASA SCIence Files (grades 3-5), NASA CONNECT (grades 6-8) and NASA’s Destination Tomorrow (adult).
Now in its seventh season, the Pokémon animated series airs on Kids WB! in the U.S. and consistently ranks among the top three shows for boys 6-11.
For more information on the NASA/Pokémon collaboration, visit the Kids Science News Network at http://ksnn.larc.nasa.gov/pokemon. More details on NASA Langley Center for Distance Learning programs can be found at