As the people of the tiny Caribbean Island of Montserrat go about their lives in paradise, an ancient volcano suddenly awakens. With an inevitable eruption likely to occur at any moment, a group of emergency responders and scientists must work around the clock to evacuate the townspeople and prepare the city for its impending doom. To make matters worse, a hurricane approaches. Can the heroes juggle the challenges posed by two natural disasters to deliver the islanders to safety? That’s the question posed by “e-Mission: Operation Montserrat,” a new interactive game from the minds at the Challenger Learning Center in West Virginia, which asks teams of students to apply their knowledge of science and math to help solve an authentic crisis situation. As part of the online project, students will use real-time hurricane and seismic data to assist Mission Control in saving the residents from certain destruction. During the two-hour e-Mission, student specialists serve as members of an Emergency Response Team with individual expertise in volcanoes, hurricanes, evacuations, and communications. Each team member will be responsible for collecting data and monitoring different aspects of the dilemma, while working together to come up with a cohesive strategy to rescue the island and preserve the environment. “Operation Montserrat” is one of two e-Missions created by the Challenger Learning Center in West Virginia. The other, “Space Station Alpha,” is available from the center’s web site.

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