About AstroVenture

AstroVenture is a company that develops and markets innovative educational products. Our initial product is the University of Mars video game which is a self-contained introductory college level course. It is also appropriate for independent study of astronomy for all ages. In the future we plan to develop games and sub-games for various ages, expanding into other areas of science

The University of Mars

The University of Mars is an introductory astronomy course used by several academic institutions to teach astronomy to undergraduate non-science major students. It can be used entirely online with no class meeting schedule or it can be used as part of a flipped classroom where the students play the game before meeting with the instructor who can dive deeper into topics they choose. It can also be used in a hybrid approach with fewer class meetings per week to allow some flexibilty in student scheduling.

Here is longer video showcasing the course:

About Us

Andrew Mshar is a software and game developer that designed and implemented the systems and games in The University of Mars, Astroventure's first game.

Jane Charlton is a Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Pennsylvania State University. She has led the development of introductory online astronomy classes at Penn State which have been taken by over 20,000 students in the past decade.

Nahks combines life-long passions for astronomy and visual arts, as an online course and video-game artist/developer and instructor for Penn State's Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics. His primary interests are astrobiology and human space exploration, and aims to share those through science communication — writing and art — education and public outreach.

Christopher Palma is a Teaching Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Students at Penn State University. He has been conducting research in science teaching and learning at the K-12 and college levels, which has influenced his teaching of introductory astronomy for non-majors, senior level astrophysics courses, and a course designed specifically for pre-service elementary education teachers.