Kerbal Space Program is already being used in some physics classrooms , but indie developer Squad has just formalized an agreement to bring the fledgling space program simulator to more classrooms with special support for teachers. TeacherGaming, the parent company behind MinecraftEdu, will launch KerbalEdu to 50 schools in mid-November.
KerbalEdu's first big hurdle is setting up an educational discount and marketplace that schools can actually use. “It may be funny for a private person to think, 'I have my credit card, I can just go online and buy stuff,' but schools can't do that,” TeacherGaming CEO Santeri Koivisto told PCGamesN . “It's a huge mess of purchasing systems. We've tried to work with the different countries' purchasing systems and been successful with that.”
KerbalEdu will work the same as MinecraftEdu in that the special version of the game will be almost identical to vanilla Kerbal Space Program, but with a few tweaks and special editors for teachers to use with students. “The idea is that we don't ruin the game,” Koivisto said. “So when the kids come to school they don't think it's some rubbish school Minecraft , they just know it's their favorite game at home and now they're playing it at school.”
Though it isn't an exact simulation, KSP can be used in physics classrooms to teach gravity wells and rocket science, or even as a hands-on history-class recreation of the work NASA has been doing with manned and unmanned spaceflight. KSP is a hard game to play, but that's also why it's fun.
“There's a lot of failure,” said KSP developer Mike Geelan. “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.”
Check out the full interview at PCGamesN for more info on KerbalEdu.