Battle School

From Academic Kids

In the science fiction novel Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card, Battle School was a military academy in Earth orbit.

In Card's fictional future universe, humanity is at war with an alien species known as the Formics, or, colloquially, buggers. Battle School is the training ground for the future leaders of Earth's war effort—most notably Ender Wiggin and Bean. At the school, they undergo a rigorous curriculum designed to teach military strategy and tactics. As befits an elite school, only the very best and brightest students are taken. Prospective students must undergo invasive monitoring, and a battery of tests, to see if they are suitable for the school.

Students are generally taken to Battle School at a very young age—5 or 6 years old. The common age of "graduation" is usually 12. While at battle school, they are taught academic subjects, including especially a heavy grounding in mathematics and science, a setup for work in space; for instance, Card describes Ender as learning trigonometry, which in the United States is not taught until high school.

However, the academic work is not the focus of Battle School. Rather, the true evaluation of the students comes in battle simulations which are run by the school's instructors. The students are divided into 40-person armies, most named after an animal (real or mythological). They fight mock battles in weightlessness, armed with harmless lasers and suits that freeze when hit with a laser shot. These battles are used to test the tactical aptitude of the students. Their performance is used to evaluate their progress. As such, the student body places a great weight on the standings in these games, a perception which is encouraged by instructors. The battleroom measures forty metres to a side, and has five doors in it - two on the 'roof' two on the 'floor', and one on the 'south' wall (according to Ender. Any other soldier would say that there are two on their gate side and two on the other teams side and one in the floor.) The south gate on the roof and floor are use in practices, and the third south gate is only used by Major Anderson. The middle gates in the roof and floor are used during battles. The object of the game is supposedly to 'destroy' or freeze all the enemy soldiers, but it is really to get through the gate, as Ender's last Battle School battle shows. To go through the gate, four men must touch their helmets to each corner of the enemy gate, and one person must go through the gate.

List of armies Ender was a member of (listed in chronological order):

List of other armies:

  • Asp Army
  • Badger Army
  • Centipede Army
  • Condor Army
  • Ferret Army
  • Flame Army
  • Griffin Army
  • Leopard Army
  • Lion Army
  • Manticore Army
  • Rabbit Army
  • Scorpion Army
  • Spider Army
  • Tide Army
  • Tiger Army


Battle School was also the name of an episode of Dad's Army.

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