Teachers can claim a complimentary PC copy of acclaimed puzzle adventure Portal 2 for use in the classroom, Valve has announced.
As reported by Kotaku, it's part of the developer's Steam for Schools initiative - a specially designed version of its platform that strips away any functionality that isn't core to the education experience. The program is in beta and currently only offers Portal 2 and its puzzle-maker expansion.
Interested educators will need to sign up for the beta to receive the game. Note, students will only be able to share their level creations within the classroom.
"What's the educational value of Portal?" you may ask. Well, here's what Valve has to say on its Teach with Portals site:
"The Portal franchise was developed as an entertainment product, but the games have the potential to be used as experiential learning tools," it explained.
"In the Portal world, students interact with physically simulated objects (cubes, catapults, lasers, etc.). The interaction tends to be free-form and experimental and as students encounter new tools and challenges they may develop an intuitive understanding of physical principles such as mass and weight, acceleration, momentum, gravity, and energy.
"The games also put a premium on critical thinking, spatial reasoning, problem solving, iteration and collaboration skills, and encourage overall inquiry into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) learning."
It's posted suggested lesson plan ideas on its site.