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Posted by Rob Knies
On Nov. 26, 2011, the Mars rover Curiosity was launched from Cape Canaveral, a trip that will have taken more than eight months before Curiosity lands on the surface of the Red Planet.With excitement peaking in the days before the landing, Microsoft and NASA are using the event as an opportunity to enable youngsters to learn computational skills and explore the Martian terrain by using Kodu: Mars Edition.Developed in cooperation with NASA’s Mars Public Engagement Program, led by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and Microsoft Research’s FUSE Labs, Kodu: Mars Edition lets children create games for the PC or Xbox using a simple, visual programming language. The aim of the collaboration is to create compelling learning experiences that develop students’ competency in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), along with 21st-century skills.