Hop on the bus and get ready to tour...Mars?

Posted at 6:41 AM, Apr 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-20 09:01:58-04

Hop on the school bus and get ready to take a tour around...Mars? 

A new initiative focusing on STEM education is taking flight on a national scale.

One highlight: a school bus that transports students to another planet.

Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company based in Maryland. They've launched Generation Beyond, a national education program aimed at inspiring kids to pursue future careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

At the center of it: interactive tools to encourage students and support educators.

There's a free deep space curriculum available for educators, and a Hello Mars app that helps students find Mars in the sky and get weather reports from the Red Planet in real time.

But the real star of the show: Lockheed Martin's Mars Experience Bus. The vehicle will travel the country and immerse students in an interactive ride simulating a drive around Mars, the company said in a news release. 

Lockheed notes it's a virtual reality vehicle that uses video game software to create the out-of-this-world experience.

Check out the full site of tools and programs here.