The families of Southeast students were invited to play “arcade games” constructed by students who used only cardboard and recycled materials – along with an active imagination!
Those who came to play were asked to make a small donation to the hurricane victims in exchange for “tokens” to be used at the arcade. Participants then traveled from classroom to classroom to play with all of the different cardboard creations.
The students spent several days creating their arcade games, relying heavily on the Engineering Design Process: Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, and Improve. Each group worked through the elaborate process of brainstorming ideas, discussing constraints, sketching out their plans, and finally, creating the game.
Technology Teacher Tracey Gleason implemented the Cardboard Challenge at Southeast and said that, in addition to the fun-filled process of creating the arcade, the project lends itself to a variety of educational opportunities.
“Students have a chance to begin using the engineering design process in an authentic way,” Gleason said. “They also practice the vital skills of collaborative group work, problem solving, and perseverance, and they have an opportunity to develop their creativity and imagination – qualities that will be essential in the future these students will be entering as adults.”
District Superintendent Dr. Robert Machak agrees with Gleason.
"Throughout the entire school, kids were engaged with this project," he said. "They are proud of the hard work they put into their games, and proud of their final products. Having parents and teachers come in to play these arcade game with the students was such a good idea. Doing so provided an authentic audience for whom the students could demonstrate their work.
“The project are all so different, and all so creative," Machak added. "I am extremely proud of the students and staff at SE School; the Cardboard Challenge is a great example of kind of challenging - yet fun - curriculum we are attempting to deliver across the entire district."
This is the second year that Southeast School has held the Cardboard Challenge.