The companies are providing Nintendo Labo: Variety Kits and a curriculum for science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) for 2,000 young learners, ages 8 to 11, for the current school year. The companies are currently conducting a pilot program in New York area elementary schools.
Nintendo Labo kits are used to make creations, Toy-Con, which can then be used in conjunction with the Nintendo Switch system. The Toy-Con Garage software introduces basic programming concepts, which users can make their own creations with, from musical instruments to clocks, according to a press release.
The Institute of Play’s curriculum is a play-based learning experience, developed by its team of “educators, researchers, game designers and school leaders,” according to a press release. Arana Shapiro, the non-profit institute’s co-executive director, explained the intent behind using Nintendo Labo for learning.
“We are always on the lookout for new tools and technologies that combine the best of learning with the spirit of play, and in Nintendo Labo we found an inspiring and innovative approach in both areas,” said Shapiro. “Teachers in the pilot program are already seeing the natural fit for Nintendo Labo in the classroom, and now we can bring that dynamic to schools across the country.”
The curriculum intends to emphasize the development of innovative problem solving skills as well as collaboration between students.
After the pilot program, the program will grow to reach 100 schools nationwide. Teachers and schools interested in registering in the program for their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders can register here, and participating schools will be provided Nintendo Switch consoles, Labo Variety Kits, and a teacher guide.