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Science classes look to Pokemon for answers

Jason Dobson

Growing up, we all had our share of classes in school that approached education from an odd angle in an effort to keep us from staring out the window while daydreaming of the game we left on pause before getting on the bus. Games seldom played a role in the classroom, though the times spent playing educational games like Oregon Trail in school still make up some of our most fond memories. We were too busy having fun to know -- or care -- that we were being educated.

Similarly, Nintendo, it seems, has latched onto the idea of tricking kids into having fun while learning. The company has partnered with the National Institute of Aerospace and Nortel LearniT for a set of downloadable lesson plans for science teachers that use characters and concepts from Pokemon, specifically Diamond and Pearl. Examples include learning how to tell time by the sun by studying the time-controlling Pokemon Dialga, or looking to Palkai's ability to control space as a window into the real universe.

It's a interesting concept, obviously, though this flirts a bit too close to in-school marketing for our tastes. Aimed at children in grades 3-8, it's a good bet that many of these kids already know and play Pokemon, but for those who are not already one of the Nintendo faithful this could be an effective, if questionable means to secure new followers. 'Gotta catch 'em all' indeed.

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