The high ability math groups at all Mt. Vernon elementary schools recently completed the "Cardboard Challenge" and participated in the Imagination Foundation's Global Day of Play. The event was centered around a cardboard challenge that promotes instruction and practice in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM).
Second through fifth grade high ability students designed, built and facilitated cardboard arcade games for other students to play; however, students must first answer a math question correctly before playing. Using cardboard boxes with items like yarn, paper clips, tape and markers, the arcade games lined each elementary while their peers took turns at the arcade games, hoping to win prizes.
Students used their iPads to develop math questions and complete research, although they were tasked to use their own creativity while designing it instead of relying on the internet. The activity was inspired by the YouTube video "Caine's Arcade" about an elementary student who created an arcade at his dad's store.
The district has grown the elementary high ability programs by adding two additional high-ability teachers, providing one in each building. It was a natural step for the three high ability teachers to collaborate and offer this activity at each elementary.
Jessica Daugherty, High Ability Teacher at Fortville Elementary School, said that students had been preparing for this event in her math class for several weeks. Students were instructed to think like an engineer during the design phase. They were also challenged to think on their own and start something from scratch.
Teamwork was also a part of the project, as most games had groups of two or three inventors behind the creation. The students incorporated concepts they already knew and problem-solved for the arcade game to function.
The game designs ran the gamut from air hockey, to balancing games, to bowling. Creativity is thriving through STEAM activities at Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation!