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Bill Nye is back again — this time, though, he’s not teaching science on the tube or challenging the skeptics of evolution.

Instead, the former Boeing engineer is helping launch a neat Kickstarter campaign for the development of a physics learning game called AERO for the iPad.

Nye is teaming with GameDesk to develop a 3-D bird-flying game that teaches difficult aerodynamic concepts like lift, drag, thrust, velocity, gravity, banking turning and more. It’s essentially an exploratory world where users can fly a bird around and learn all about the physics of aerodynamics.

GameDesk, a Los Angeles-based 503(c)3 nonprofit research and educational game development organization, has already come up with an early prototype of the game, thanks to a partnership with Iridescent Learning and seed funding from the National Academy of Sciences and the Office of Naval Research.

Nye became involved when he joined the Board of Directors at GameDesk to help build a library of digital science curriculums and games. He worked directly with the development team on some of the game’s elements, like helping the designers understand the correct equations that would be needed for the simulator.

The month-long Kickstarter goal of $100,000 will help put the final touches for a full-world game for the iPad in 2013. Eventually, GameDesk wants to raise $1 million to get AERO on iPad minis into 500 schools around the nation.

Nye moonlighted as a comedian and got his start on television in Seattle on KING-TV’s “Almost Live” sketch comedy show, which gave birth to the “Science Guy” character. “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” produced by KCTS-TV in Seattle, started in 1993 and aired for five years, winning a bunch of Emmy Awards.

You can follow Nye on his website,, and on Twitter @thescienceguy.


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