SimCity Educational site will assist in teaching science, technology, engineering and math.
A few days ago, I told you about a school in Sweden that’s requiring students to take a class based around the popular indie PC game Minecraft. The point of the class is to teach kids about things like urban planing and environmental issues. At the same time, EA recently announced the upcoming beta for SimCity. (Yeah, there’s the link for those of you who might have missed it.)
What do these two things have in common?
Well, it seems EA recognizes the educational potential of video games as well, particularly PC games like SimCity. The company has announced that it will be launching a website designed for teachers who want to use SimCity for educational purposes in their classrooms. The website, titled SimCityEdu.org will be a resource that will assist teachers in creating and sharing lesson plans built around the game.
According to the official announcement by EA, American universities now produce less than one-third of the graduates requires to fill the job demand for jobs in science, technology, engineer and math — referred to as STEM for short. Believing that these particular areas can be made a more fun to learn, EA, along with Maxis and GLASS Lab have started an initiate to modify the upcoming SimCity game to allow it to be used in education. Their hope is that the program will attract students to jobs in research, tech and even game development. The SimCity Educational site is still in the works and is set to be available in March.
Bringing leaders in education and technology together.
EA is also hosting a party today during President Obama’s inauguration titled “Learn, Build, Create.” The party, hosted in conjunction with John Legend, Pharrel Williams and Malin Akerman is a non-partisan event to “celebrate the importance of education and cutting edge public-private partnerships as programs like GLASS Lab and SimCityEDU.”
It’s interesting — and pretty nice — to see video games being put to use in ways such as these. Here’s hoping that the success of both Minecraft and the SimCity Educational site in classrooms will encourage more projects like this.