The big picture: Nintendo through a new partnership with the Institute of Play is looking to introduce youngsters to its Nintendo Switch console in the classroom. Getting kids interested in STEM studies at an early age could pay dividends as they get older, something Nintendo and other tech giants like Apple, Google and Microsoft have no doubt thought about.
Move over Microsoft, there’s a new competitor in the emerging education sector looking to teach STEM skills to youngsters through video games.
Nintendo on Tuesday announced a partnership with the Institute of Play to bring Nintendo Labo kits to classrooms. The program, which aims to reach roughly 2,000 students during the 2018-2019 school year, will see Nintendo provide Labo: Variety Kits and Nintendo Switch consoles to participating elementary schools.
First launched in April, Labo is a gaming and construction platform that allows Switch users to build cardboard accessories called Toy-Con. The various creations, including a fishing rod, motorbike and piano, are then used to play games on the Switch and teach kids the basic principles of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Founded in 2007, the Institute of Play is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and design corporation that works with teachers and schools to develop play-based learning experiences for students.
Pilot programs are already being conducted in schools in the greater New York area. Once these wrap up, the program will be expanded to additional schools across the country. Interested parties can apply to participate through the Institute of Play.