The vagaries of computer chip design don't usually hold a school child's rapt attention. But tell the student how that chip design relates to video games and things might go a little differently.

That was clearly IBM's hope when they invited over 300 New York area children to its $2.5-billion East Fishkill manufacturing plant this week to show them how the chips behind today's game systems get made. The trip was part of a program to encourage math and science education by "making the subjects interesting and relevant to them."

To that end, IBM showed the students how math and science make games possible, and how the technology behind video games is being used in everything from health care to energy exploration. The students also got to get some hands on time with the next-gen systems, which we're sure made them forget all about that boring educational stuff.

With IBM chips in all three next-gen systems, the company clearly has a vested interest in promoting its position at the forefront of gaming hardware technology. Still, it's always nice to see a corporate mega-conglomerate giving something back to the community.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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