Celebrate President’s Day with The JFK Challenge iPad App

Through a series of fun, enriching games geared to ages 8-12, The JFK Challenge app turns players into NASA and Peace Corps trainees ready to accept President Kennedy’s charge to accomplish great things and make a difference in the world. Bluecadet was thrilled to work with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum on their first app, timed for release on President’s Day. Apple is featuring The JFK Challenge as a “best new app” in iTunes.

The JFK Challenge is an innovative way to introduce President John F. Kennedy’s life and legacy to a generation born many years after his presidency. Bluecadet spearheaded the conceptualization, design, and development of the app from start to finish, including thorough research and testing with kids to ensure the most engaging experience. The app features two missions, based on two of JFK’s most important presidential initiatives: Space Race and Peace Corps. Bluecadet developed a sequential game format, with timed activities and points to motivate users to continue through the levels—learning more as they play.

As virtual astronauts in the Space Race mission, kids travel back in time to journey to the moon with the Apollo 11 team. Inspired by the astronauts’ actual training, the games convey how much preparation went into the first moon landing, and what a challenging feat it was.

After assembling the spacesuit correctly, kids see their own photograph beneath the helmet’s visor. Then, players must launch the rocket, steer the spacecraft to the moon, land the Lunar Module, and explore the moon while finding hidden objects. The iPad becomes a rocket’s steering mechanism as players tilt the device to avoid space debris and use quick thumb-strokes to make a smooth lunar landing.

The Peace Corps mission takes young volunteers on a trip to Colombia, one of the first countries where the Peace Corps traveled in the 1960s. Peace Corps volunteers go through serious training before departing for service; in The JFK Challenge, kids must pass a playful Spanish language quiz game—learning words needed to successfully complete their mission once they are in Colombia. Their training continues with games that teach how to dig, build, and locate other countries around the globe where Peace Corps volunteers traveled.

Players use their new skills as they help dig canals for clean drinking water and construct a school and clinic—activities based on first-hand accounts from Peace Corps volunteers.

Now available for free download at JFKChallenge.org!

Find the full press release here and details about the custom design and development of the app on our case study.