“Exploring Aeronautics” Multimedia CD-ROM, 2004

Partnership with MakerToys.

An educational software product designed at Ames Research Center is bringing actual aeronautical work performed by NASA engineers to the public in an interactive format for the first time, in order to introduce future generations of engineers to the fundamentals of flight. Bill Maecker, the president of MakerToys, came to NASA looking for materials and images so that he could create an educational CD-ROM "learning toy" to add to his company's product line. Ames had a perfect match for Maecker with its "Exploring Aeronautics" CD-ROM, and licensed it to his company. MakerToys chose to use "AeroCD" for the name of its spinoff software product. The AeroCD retains the graphical user interface developed by Ames as one means to navigate the large amount of material on the CD. As a bonus, the company added two more interfaces to simplify use. One of the new interfaces, a proprietary "Teaching Leader" component, lets an individual student enjoy the commercial version of the NASA program without direction from a teacher, by providing voice-overs when the student rolls his or her mouse across text on the computer screen. MakerToys has met with numerous science/education distributors, museums, and mass-marketers to create a distribution plan for the AeroCD.

Page Last Updated: June 12th, 2014
Page Editor: Lois Rosson