Using Nintendo to Build a Love of STEM


This was first published by KIPP Nashville.

Kevy and Kylun are working hard to try and figure out how to put together their cardboard race cars.

“Look, you stick this part in here!” shouts Kylun, as he proudly attaches a corner and gets one step closer to making his cardboard look less flat and more like a car.

Kevy and Kylun are second graders in Mr. Baker’s STEM class at KIPP Nashville College Prep Elementary School. 

They’re working on piecing together components that include the Nintendo Switch and are part of Nintendo’s Labo invention system.

“We found out we received the Nintendo grant from the Institute of Play in November, and I was so excited to introduce the program to our students,” says Mr. Baker.

“The kits are really neat,” explains Mr. Baker, “They come with cardboard and other materials that let our Kings and Queens build different kits that interact with the Nintendo Switch. So far, our classes have built a race car, but we also have materials to build a motorbike, house and fishing rod.”

Students can make the cardboard car move by using vibration controlled through the Switch. It’s the same technology as in Nintendo Wiis.

Kevy notices, “The cardboard car is moving without batteries, it’s just so cool!”

Kylun adds, “I can’t believe it’s moving by itself, but we’re controlling it!”

“I definitely feel like this is a sneaky and fun way for our Kings and Queens to learn,” says Mr. Baker. “Some of the things they’re learning are the very beginning of coding and it’s basically just a way to spark that love and joy of science, technology and engineering at a young age.”

Read more on KIPP Nashville’s blog.

Kelli Gauthier