Players adjust multiple planes' path and speed to safely reach a target location in the sky in the fastest time possible while keeping the plans a safe distance apart.
"Our hope is that Sector 33 will give students a sense of the importance of math in managing our nation's air traffic and, at the same time, interest them in pursuing a career in aeronautics," said Jaiwon Shin, NASA's associate administrator for aeronautics research in Washington.
The math-focused game also aligns with the NASA Office of Education's mission to engage students in activities related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
"Today's students respond positively to experiential learning," said Leland Melvin, NASA's associate administrator for education. "Using an interactive game to spark their interest, while at the same time teaching them fundamental math concepts, is a win-win scenario. It is a perfect way to help cultivate the next generation of engineers and technologists."
NASA is no stranger to iOS apps, having launched an iPhone app in 2009 to help users stay on top of the latest NASA news.
Sector 33 is available free for iPhone and iPad from the App Store. [Direct Link]