Mission US TimeSnap is an immersive learning experience that combines interactivity and evidence analysis to support learners in building historical thinking skills and understanding key events in U.S history. Originally developed for virtual reality, TimeSnap tasks high school students with making sense of challenging historical texts to help answer compelling key questions. Students play the role of a field agent for CARPA, a fictional agency from the future that is rebuilding the country’s historical archive which has been erased, and travel through time portals to key moments in U.S. history. Their mission: to identify and analyze primary source documents, listen in on the thoughts of historical figures, and decide which pieces of evidence to bring back to support their interpretations of what happened.
Each interactive experience lasts about 20 minutes and is preceded and followed by a Mission Brief – a carefully crafted set of DBQ materials and classroom activities to support integration into high school social studies/history curricula. The goal is to improve the historical thinking skills of students (including sourcing, contextualizing, and perspective taking) and improve students’ historical content knowledge.
TimeSnap is produced by the creators of Mission US, the award-winning series of interactive learning games designed to immerse young people in transformational moments in U.S. history. Partners WNET NY Public Media, Electric Funstuff, the American Social History Project, and Education Development Center developed TimeSnap as part of a research project funded by the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences. Learn more about the team and the findings of the research study.
A video overview of Mission US TimeSnap and findings of pilot research funded by the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences