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NASA Releases Sector 33 Air Traffic Control Educational Game App

Jan. 31, 2012

Beth Dickey 
Headquarters, Washington 

RELEASE: 12-035


WASHINGTON -- NASA has released a new educational game with an air 
traffic control theme for Apple iPhone and iPad devices. The Sector 
33 application is designed to challenge students in middle school and 
above to use basic math and problem-solving skills. 

The application may be downloaded free of charge at: 


An Android version of the app is in development and will be made 
available in the Android Marketplace in the coming months. 

In the game the player acts as an air traffic controller guiding 
airplanes through a sector of airspace spanning Nevada and 
California. The player can adjust the planes' path and speed to 
safely reach certain spots in the sky in the fastest time possible 
while keeping the planes a specific distance from each other. 

"Our hope is that Sector 33 will give students a sense of the 
importance of math in managing our nation's air traffic and, at the 
same time, interest them in pursuing a career in aeronautics," said 
Jaiwon Shin, NASA's associate administrator for aeronautics research 
in Washington. 

The math-focused game also aligns with the NASA Office of Education's 
mission to engage students in activities related to science, 
technology, engineering and mathematics. 

"Today's students respond positively to experiential learning," said 
Leland Melvin, NASA's associate administrator for education. "Using 
an interactive game to spark their interest, while at the same time 
teaching them fundamental math concepts, is a win-win scenario. It is 
a perfect way to help cultivate the next generation of engineers and 

Sector 33 is based on Smart Skies Line Up With Math, an educational 
software title developed under the direction of NASA's Aeronautics 
Research Mission Directorate and distributed in cooperation with the 
Federal Aviation Administration and National Air Traffic Controllers 
Association. Smart Skies has been used in middle school classrooms 
across the United States since 2005. 

For more information about aeronautics research at NASA, visit: 


For more information about NASA's education programs, visit: 



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