Nintendo unveiled its Labo Kits in January as a way for gamers of all ages to build cardboard devices that will work with the Switch console. The Labo concoctions are made to be used as controller accessories that work with software that runs on the Switch. Nintendo has announced that it would be integrating Labo kits into classroom courses in cooperation with Institute of Play. The Institute of Play website says that this program is open to schools around the nation if teachers apply and are using STEM, STEAM, or Maker courses in their curriculum.
The program is reportedly starting with schools in the New York area since that is where the Institute of Play is based. Classrooms that qualify to be considered for the Labo program must be grades 2-4 and the schools supported can be public or private. The program will kick off in November and the timeline to integrate Labo into class lessons is flexible but must be complete by March 2019.
Teachers who register will receive a Nintendo Labo Teacher’s Guide to support their classroom implementation. The goal of the program is to get Labo and the associated education programs into the hands of about 2,000 students, with 100 schools around the U.S. using the platform by March 2019. The big caveat for using Labo in the classroom is that while the Teacher’s Guide is free, Nintendo isn’t giving away Switch consoles or Labo cardboard kits for free.
Nintendo currently offers multiple Labo kits with a variety kit selling for $69.99 that allows users to build an RC car, fishing rod, house, motorbike, and a piano; a robot kit is offered for $79.99. In July, Nintendo announced it would launch a vehicle kit with a cardboard steering wheel and pedal set for $69.99; this kit launched on September 14. The required Nintendo Switch console currently retails for $299.