STEMies in Action!

When considering where to start with our new after school Makerspace Club it was only fitting to begin with an idea which epitomizes the ideologies of the Maker Movement…. the wonderful story of a young boy Caine who created arcade games from cardboard.

Below is the video……I never get tired of it!

After watching the video we discussed parts which resonated with each of us and shared ideas and thoughts of games. Then in small groups, the girls began planning and designing by sketching possibilities. It was interesting to listen to the discussions, explanations and ideas the girls were sharing. Cardboard boxes were then ripped, torn and cut as the games started to take shape. There were plenty of changes happening as new ideas were thought of or ideas were too difficult to make….problem-solving …..awesome!
Girls searched through boxes in the Makerspace for materials which led to new ideas. They printed pictures, brought in materials and items from home to enhance their designs….it was a busy few weeks with some girls unable to come due to Year 6 camp and then Year 5 camp….but that didn’t stop the enthusiasm for adding more and more challenges into their games. One group started with one box and finished with three!
Towards the end of term the delightful Beth Clayton, from QCAA, came for a visit to see our library with its Makerspace. She requested to return to film and talk to the girls about the design process they were undertaking. It will be great to see the webinar when it is finished.
Our students are not new to constructing with cardboard. Here is a link to a few years ago when we enjoyed Christmas Cardboard Constructions.
Games constructed:
‘Turbo Topsy Turtle’ a really challenging game of getting a ball from one end to the other through an obstacle course, with hand moving bridges, up and down lifts (on string and card) and drops!
‘Dare or Die’ a mouse has to navigate through the game avoiding being attacked and trapped by the cat to find the cheese by titling from side to side, up and down as the game is on a wobble ball.
 ‘Beware!’ a player needs to have fast reactions for this game to hit as many mice as possible as the mice appear from random holes.
‘From P’s to L’s’, this game needed driving skills to manitpulate a car through challenges to go from ‘P’ plate to ‘L’ plate, with some tricky maneuvering required and different levels to select to drive over a bridge to achieve a ‘L’ plate!
Photos of some of the games created:

Unfortunately, due to school closures because of the extreme weather conditions caused by ex-cyclone Debbie, we were not able to have the final arcade open to all the girls at lunch time as planned:(  But ….we will keep it till next term! It will be a fabulous way to start the new term 🙂





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Jackie Child
Jackie Child has been teaching primary aged students for 40 years in a number of countries. She is passionate about how children learn through constructivist pedagogy. She is a Teacher Librarian at St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School and a sessional tutor at Griffith University for pre-service teachers. Jackie doesn’t believe in standing still, there is always plenty to ‘do’ and learn!