Europa Prime: A Co-Designed, Inclusive STEM-Learning VR Experience (2023)


As part of UniVRsal Access: Broadening Participation in Informal STEM Learning for Autistic Learners and Others through Virtual Reality (2005447), a neurodiverse team from EdGE at TERC and Landmark College co-designed the VR experience Europa Prime. Europa Prime is intended to engage a broad audience, including players with sensory, attention, and/or social differences, with astrobiology and other STEM learning.

Set in the future, the VR experience is fictional, but it builds from current space exploration efforts. NASA’s Europa Clipper is scheduled to launch in October 2024; its mission: to determine whether there are places below the surface of Jupiter’s icy moon, Europa, that could support life. In VR, we can explore what might come next.

EdGE –

TERC – UniVRsal Access:

MXTreality: Europa Prime Blog –

NSF Award: 2005447


This discussion took place during the TERC Video Showcase Event Nov. 14-21, 2023. Discussion is now closed.
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Teon Edwards
Teon Edwards
November 9, 2023 8:59 am
Welcome to our Europa Prime video, developed as part of TERC’s UniVRsal Access project.

In our STEM for All Video Showcase videos, we focused on the co-design process with interns from Landmark College and the major role neurodivergent co-designers played in shaping the VR experience Europa Prime. In this video, we are oriented toward potential players, highlighting what Europa Prime will look and feel like, how it’ll attract and engage players, and how it connects with current space missions and opportunities for STEM awareness and interest.

We look forward to your comments and questions.

Kathryn Hobbs
Kathryn Hobbs
November 14, 2023 4:23 pm
I love this video – it feels like a movie/game trailer that makes me excited and eager to play Europa Prime! The music, the visuals, as well as the narration – all so cool. I think it also plays a lot on my own interests – space exploration and the tie in to astrobiology and other STEM learning. I look forward to learning more about the how the co-designers have shaped the development of this game and what has been learned from that process. Thank you for sharing this work!
Teon Edwards
Teon Edwards
November 15, 2023 12:21 pm
Reply to  Kathryn Hobbs
Thanks, Kathryn. And yes, we aimed for something of a trailer feeling with this video, as we wanted to speak to a broad audience, including viewers who might be captured by the visuals, by the focus on gaming, by the use of VR, by interest in space exploration, astrobiology/life beyond Earth, and/or sci fi, and brought into an interest in the STEM learning.
Joni Falk
Joni Falk
November 14, 2023 4:38 pm
Love this video. You have me hooked. The visuals are so appealing and the story grabs you. Would love to hear your research as to where it is being shown, and what the students are saying about their experience. Thanks for sharing this!!!!
Teon Edwards
Teon Edwards
November 15, 2023 12:47 pm
Reply to  Joni Falk
Thanks, Joni, so glad we’ve hooked you!

You can hear more about the students’ experiences, including in their own voices, and related research several places, including:

We’re very invested in the importance of co-design and authentically involving neurodivergent learners in the design of education materials, as well as involving these same learners in dissemination, professional conferences, and other aspects of the work, even (or maybe especially) as they graduate and begin to grow in their own further learning and careers.

Jaclyn Parks
Jaclyn Parks
November 15, 2023 3:58 pm
What a cool video! I felt like I was watching a movie trailer. Well done! It got me excited to play the game when it comes out. I’ve also enjoyed learning about your co-design process. Your Hands On! article that you listed really does a wonderful job describing this in detail with great quotes from the students involved.
Nickolay Hristov
Nickolay Hristov
November 17, 2023 12:41 pm
So much to like here! The narration, editing style, and grandness of the soundtrack, come together really well. Well done EDGE! The additional material was very helpful to answer the more technical and science-y questions. Including it in some way as a static card at the end could make the piece even more portable and able to stand on its own. From a narrative perspective, I wonder if it makes sense, at the end where you say, “…but the possibility keeps us learning, striving and imagining”, to pull out of the VR world and anchor the end in the real world. What would that material look like to keep the build up and intensity intact. Next year? And I am always the one to ask for more information on the production aspects of the project/film. In addition to Alexia Rosoff on the editing, concept and production design, animation team at MXT? NSF wants its logo everywhere. Do we, individually, deserve any less credit?