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Kerbal Space Program is on its way to 50 schools to teach kids how to crash over and over again

Wednesday, 30th October 2013 22:16 GMT By Ewan Miller

Kerbal Space Program’s developer Squad has finalised an agreement with TeacherGaming to bring a custom version of the game, KerbalEdu, to 50 schools next month. The team’s rather modest teaching expectations after the break.


While even Kerbal’s developers will admit the hard physics underpinning the title might not be the easiest to learn, TeacherGaming’s CEO Santeri Koivisto says the game does do a good job of teaching “why aeroplanes stay in the sky”.

“Our point of view for education in general and with Kerbal is not that we should teach you force and mass or Newton’s laws, but to get people interested and understanding some of the very basic concepts,” he said. “A lot of schools have one hour per week of computer lab time, which is a ridiculously small amount. So what can you do other than get them excited, get them interested, so that they learn at home?”

Of course, if my experience is at all indicative, an hour with Kerbal Space Program won’t get you into orbit. One of the game’s developers, Mike Geelan, doesn’t see that as a problem though.

“There’s a lot of failure, but there’s some inspiration to achieve better. It’s an iterative process. The first time, it’s just going to explode. The second time, it might come off the pad. The third time, you might get to 30,000 feet.”

In a game with the motto “failure is fun”, Geelan sees children learning alongside the Kerbals, who as a “fledgling space nation” don’t seem to really have any more idea how this all works than you do.

Alongside TeacherGaming’s MinecraftEdu, it seems like it must be a pretty good time to be a kid in school with these kind of games around. Certainly seems a step up from the Logical Journey of the Zoombinis.

Thanks, PC Games N.

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3 Comments

  1. DSB

    You can take all of your dumbed down AAA B-movie experiences, strap ‘em to an FL-T800 fuel tank, attach an LV-T30 liquid fuel engine, open the valves, ignite, and then blast ‘em all into the silent oblivion of deep space.

    It’s games like this that make me feel like we’re living in a golden age of videogames.

    The fact that it’s a huge success really gives me hope. No lamestream publisher would touch this with a ten foot pole.

    #1 9 months ago
  2. Luciferous

    I can safely say that a few weeks with this game taught me more about physics as applied to real world planes and space vessels than a whole load of high school physics ever did.

    Damned good idea giving it to kids in schools.

    #2 9 months ago
  3. xXNapsterManXx

    I was wondering when this was going to happen, As long as it’s some kind of educational version I think it’s a great idea.

    #3 9 months ago

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