Nintendo is bringing its creative platform Labo to classrooms across the united states. Nintendo and the Institute of Play plan to bring the Labo to roughly 100 classrooms during the 2018/2019 school year. The educational program will begin sometime in November and run through March.
The program will be implemented in classrooms for grades 2-4 and is designed with students ages 8-11 in mind. It will see kids in small groups using Labo to learn basic STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) concepts.
Besides supporting the fundamentals of STEAM, the program will also help students learn how to collaborate. Creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving are a big focus, too.
Institute of Play is a nonprofit organization that designs games as learning materials for classrooms. Some members of the IOP got their hands on Labo and immediately recognized the potential for a partnership.
Interestingly, The Institute of Play website has a section to sign up for the program, so there are presumably still slots open for schools who want to join. Teachers will receive a guide on how to implement Labo into their curriculum and have will access to webinars. The IOP also mentions they’ll “…provide an opportunity for teachers to share with one another tips and tricks and lessons learned along the way”.
Nintendo Labo consists of DIY construction kits that combine with Switch software. The combination of the console’s display and constructed “Toy-Con” allows for some unique interactions that are well suited to creative learning. The Variety Kit, the Robot Kit, and the Vehicle Kit are all currently available.