Current Issue Back Issues Cards
Issue 15, Spring 2016
Click here to have this issue shipped directly to you.

A Journey With Venetia Phair, The Girl Who Named Pluto,
   Jeannine West Paull
A Test That Teaches Trust,
   Don Mackay
Three Inadequacies,
   Mike Amarillas
Does Deeper Learning Make A Difference? Yes It Does!,
   Kristina Zeiser, Mette Huberman, Jennifer O’Day, and Michael Garet
Redefining Well-Behaved In The 21St Century Classroom,
   Sharon Fargason, Melissa Han, and Sarah Imbriaco
Uncovering The Why In The Way We Teach,
   Aleya Cunningham and Roxanne Tuong
The Case For Collaboration,
   Pam Reynolds Baker
Student Consulting Disrupting Student-Teacher Hierarchies,
   Anna Chiles, Ben Sanoff, Chloe Larson, Janie Griswold, and Julia Rosecrans


1: The Haunted Arcade Interactive Halloween Carnival Games
2: Cyclic Machines
3: Syrian Refugee Simulation
4: The Meals and Muppets Project
5: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
6: Coded Structures, Decoded Identities
7: College Knowledge
8: Walk In Their Shoes
9: Mind The Gap
10: Through The Wire
11: Seed Dispersal Challenge
12: Explorers of the World

The Haunted Arcade Interactive
Halloween Carnival Games

download pdf

The Haunted Arcade Interactive Halloween Carnival Games

In preparation for the popular school-wide Halloween carnival, 7th graders challenged themselves to build and program entertaining carnival games. Working in pairs, students experimented with various ways to trigger MaKey MaKey circuit boards. Then they began developing carnival-style games that could be adapted to work with MaKey MaKey, Scratch and craft materials. Their primary goals for the project were to improve their programming skills, to improve their engineering/craftsmanship skills, and to practice a design process that includes prototyping, feedback and revision. After weeks of testing, students hosted their Halloween-themed games at the carnival. Popular games included pinball machines, ring toss, target games, a room escape activity, and whack-a-mole.

Teacher Reflection
The driving force of this project was the authentic audience. Since the entire school would interact with their project, the 7th graders were incredibly motivated to create an entertaining activity. One of the biggest design challenges was creating a game that would be fun for kids 4 to 14 years old, so whenever possible I had younger students play early versions of the games to provide feedback. This project gave students practice managing an open-ended, long-term project and quickly learned the importance of staying organized and productive.

Student Reflections
I learned how to make a pinball machine! The flippers especially were hard to make. I tried out numerous possible ways to make them before finding an outcome I liked (and one that worked). I know I can use the engineering and craftsmanship skills I learned in the future. —7th grade student

I am particularly proud of the rail sensor in the middle. It took a lot of different ideas that didn’t work, but I created something that worked pretty well. —7th grade student