Nintendo’s focus on young and beginning gamers is coming to the classroom. The video game company known for its innovative controls and more family- and casual-oriented games is partnering with the nonprofit Institute of Play to bring its cardboard console Nintendo Labo to schools across the country.
According to its website, the program will enter about 100 classrooms during the 2018-2019 school year, targeting grades 2-4. With a curriculum "designed with students ages 8-11 in mind” that could be “a great way to illustrate basic STEAM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics] concepts,” the educational Labo venture seems like more than simple advertisement for the Switch-adapting cardboard kits.
As the IOP and Nintendo partner to let kids “work in small groups to complete a series of projects that introduce principles of design and technology,” it furthers the goals of the nonprofit and the design/demographic aims of the gaming company that brought the Nintendo DS to gamers of all ages.
Schools can apply for the program now, with the IOP noting that the schools it selects will be “a diverse group of schools across the country — in urban, suburban, and rural settings” that have “a focus on STEAM learning.”
The program officially kicks off in November, but will give teachers until March of next year to implement the Labo into the classroom with the help of a forthcoming teacher’s guide. The application also implies that teachers in the program will be agreeing to a few webinar-style catch-up sessions in which their results can be discussed and recorded.
If you want this program in your school, you can apply here.