John Fitzgerald Kennedy was our 35th president, and he accomplished quite a bit before his life, and presidency was tragically cut short. JFK Challenge is a new iPad app from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library that focuses on two specific achievements of JFK during his presidency. The app includes a series of activities for both the Peace Corps and the Space Race. JFK Challenge is designed for kids with interactive educational activities that depict life as either a Peace Corp member or Astronaut.
At first glance, JFK Challenge looks comparable to Think Like Churchill, but instead of focusing on Kennedy’s decisions to create the Peace Corps and Moon initiative, the app presents the resulting positions from those decisions. Everything is designed with kids in mind beginning with the cut scene videos complete with moving text, and actual recordings from JFK. Each video segment is like a clip you would see in a museum before you view the accompanying exhibits. The game applies in the app, but rather than looking at items behind glass, you get to directly interact with the items included. The layout is made with the iPad in mind to take advantage of touch, tilt, and size layout to offer an extremely accessible journey through the JFK Challenge.
There are over ten different interactive activities to participate in whether it’s landing the shuttle on the moon or building a school in Colombia. The activities aren’t the most complex, challenging, or thought provoking, but they do emphasize the topic being discussed. It would be nice to see a little more educational knowledge presented as the included content is somewhat superficial. There is an item discovery scene at the end of each section with archival photos, and insightful details on different objects. It would be nice to see more of that depth applied to the included mini-games. The app experience also goes by relatively quickly with little incentive to replay either section.
JFK Challenge (Free, iPad) is a well designed interactive educational experience that is completely free to enjoy, and is definitely worth doing so.