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Nintendo Labo is the innovation that just keeps on giving. After a surprise debut this spring was followed by new ways to play some old favorites, Nintendo Labo is coming to schools through a new partnership between Nintendo and the Institute of Play. The two have teamed-up to put Nintendo Labo kits in select elementary classrooms nationwide, "combining the innovative play of Nintendo Labo with the basic principles of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) to inspire kids and help make learning fun." Announced this week, Nintendo will provide Nintendo Labo: Variety Kits and Nintendo Switch systems to participating classrooms to reinforce skills such as communication, creativity and critical thinking. The program aims to reach approximately 2,000 students ages 8 to 11 during the 2018-2019 school year.

Insect Lore makes some fantastic kits for kids to learn about and grow their favorite insects, and now they're teaming up with the World of Eric Carle! For the first time ever, Insect Lore is combining their revolutionary habitat kits with the iconic art of World of Eric Carle for a kaleidoscope of unforgettable experiences through live lifecycle projects. We've done several Insect Lore kits here at Rock Father HQ, so I can tell you that we have some first-hand experience with these and I highly recommend them.

Published in Gardening

Rube Goldberg Machine ContestIf you've ever seen Back to the Future, played a game of Mouse Trap or watched a recent OK Go video (particularly "This Too Shall Pass"), then you've seen a Rube Goldberg Machine. These creations are elaborate, generally ridiculous machines that are crafted for the purpose of accomplishing a mundane task... like brewing a cup of coffee or feeding your dog. Rube Goldberg has been called "the grandfather of S.T.E.M." due to the enduring legacy of his iconic illustrations. Goldberg was a Pulitzer Prize-winning engineer and cartoonist, and his "invention cartoons" were the blueprint for countless contraptions that now bear his name. In 1988, things became official with the start of the RUBE GOLDBERG MACHINE CONTEST®, originally as a college competition. Three decades later, the annual contest encourages student inventors from across the country to create the best machines that they can, and for the 30th Anniversary, the 2018 contest came to a conclusion in Chicago.

Published in Tech

At the National Science Teachers Association Conference in Atlanta, GA, a surprise announcement was made about a new initiative that will bring something that truly rocks into schools. OK Go has partnered with The Playful Learning Lab to launch the OK Go Sandbox, a program that will provide classrooms around the world with an incredible assortment of content to use alongside the band's music videos for an artistic, STEAM-based experience.

Published in Music News

On February 13, 2018, PBS Distribution will release two all-new themed DVD collections featuring episodes of their hit PBS KIDS series. PBS KIDS: Outer Space Adventures and PBS KIDS: Ocean Adventures each feature 10 stories at a value price. No word on the exact episode listings for these just yet, but you can see the cover art and included series listed below...

Published in Movies, TV and More

As the Nintendo Switch enters its second year, families have been eager to see what's coming next. While we know that there's a hefty slate of new games on the horizon, one unexpected addition to the lineup will arrive on April 20, 2018 with the debut of Nintendo Labo, a new line of interactive build-and-play experiences "designed to inspire kids and those who are kids-at-heart." Having visited Nintendo HQ myself (twice), I've seen the archives of where Nintendo has been as a company, and they're touting this as being something that's  "building on the 129-year history of Nintendo, which is rooted in innovative entertainment and game-play experiences." I can see that, because Nintendo has never been afraid to smash the boundaries when it comes to their systems and controllers. Get ready to watch a little video and take a look at this...

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