DUST – Immersive Game Learning from NASA

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What is DUST?

DUST is an Alternative Reality Game (ARG) designed to promote STEM education. An ARG is not a video game, but a participatory game that is influenced by the players. The players interact via the game platform, but also across other media platforms such as blogging, texting, social media sites, and real life to shape the direction of the story. 

What is the game about?

A meteor shower disperses mysterious clouds of dust into earth’s atmosphere and adults worldwide fall unconscious, leaving teenagers to search for the answers that will save their parents’ lives. The game is designed for teens ages 13-17, but open to all ages (including parents).

Who made DUST?

Teams from Brigham Young University, the University of Maryland, and Tinder Transmedia partnered with NASA and The National Science Foundation to develop DUST.

These are the objectives for making DUST:

  • Redefine stereotypes around STEM.
  • See yourself as an investigator and innovator whose unique perspective and ideas matter.
  • See the broad spectrum of careers in STEM.
  • Understand the power of collaboration and teamwork to change the world.
  • Have fun doing science and feel excited about innovation.

What are the requirements to play?

  • Free
  • 1.5 hours per week for 12 weeks (flexible)
  • computer with internet access
  • mobile device (occasional use, can participate without it)


  • Jan – Feb Introduction and registration (can begin late)
  • Feb. 1-7 Module 1 (can begin immediately after registration)
  • Feb. 8-14 Module 2
  • Feb. 15-21 Module 3
  • Feb. 22-28 Module 4
  • Feb. 29-Mar. 6 Module 5
  • Mar. 7-13 Module 6
  • Mar. 14-20 Module 7
  • Mar. 21-27 Module 8
  • Mar. 28-Apr. 3 Module 9
  • Apr. 4-16 Module 10 (2 weeks for spring break)
  • Apr. 18-22 Survey discussion

Getting Started

  • Watch the introductory trailer on the DUST website.
  • Learn more about ARGs and DUST here. (Click the “Present” button to view the slideshow without overlapping text.)
  • Register to play with the Wasatch Learning DUST Team!
  • Take the pre-game survey.

Weekly Tasks

  • Read the new story segment for the week (graphic novel style).
  • Contribute by posting questions, theories, and evidence.
  • Collaborate by viewing and replying to posts and choosing work that will contribute to the efforts of the group.

This should be an awesome, fun learning experience! We hope you join in!

Email laura@wasatchlearning.com if you have any questions.



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