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KerbalEdu helps children reach the stars

Above: An aircraft created in Kerbal Space Program.

Image Credit: Chris Radcliff, http://www.flickr.com/photos/chris_radcliff

The makers of KerbalEdu want to inspire a new generation of space engineers and astronauts.

Launching today, the project is actually a modification of Kerbal Space Program, a popular space agency simulation. In KSP, players can build realistic rocket ships, fly them, and explore outer space. KerbalEDU takes this potential educational value further by introducing the metric system and other systems to aid data comparison, modifying the user interface to include data collection and analyzer tools, and incorporating teachable lessons.

In other words, it optimizes KSP for a classroom setting.

Schools and other educational institutions can purchase KerbalEDU at a discount, and it also comes with accompanying learning materials. And schools who use the educational mod can offer the original game to students for a special price.

KerbalEDU is under development by TeacherGaming, a group of teachers from the U.S. and Finland who repurpose games with educational potential into learning tools. They have already created MinecraftEDU, an adaptation of the blockbuster mining and construction simulator.

“KerbalEdu is going to help players do more than just dream of the stars in their classroom,” CEO Santeri Koivisto said. “It’s going to give them the tools to learn how to reach them.”

Squad, the Mexico City development studio that created KSP, seems equally excited about the joint venture’s potential. “KerbalEdu is going to help players do more than just dream of the stars in their classroom. It’s going to give them the tools to learn how to reach them,” said studio co-owner Adrian Goya.

Kerbal Space Program is in the middle of development, but anyone interested can purchase an early access version of the game at its website or at online retailers such as Steam. KerbalEDU is now for sale on its own separate website. Schools that buy it now will basically get a discounted version of KSP and will receive all future updates and modifications.

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