Our Stories

Students Build an Arcade in our Cardboard Box Challenge

April 23, 2015 by Alexandra Taylor (Faculty and Staff) Ronit Greenstein (Faculty and Staff)

Over the course of four months, students at JPDS-NC worked with passion and resourcefulness to design and build arcade games out of recycled materials as part of the Cardboard Box Challenge. The program seeks to foster creativity, entrepreneurship, and design thinking in children, as they work together with their parents and with one another to imagine, design and construct arcade games. Spearheaded by JPDS-NC Science Teacher Alexandra Taylor, the Cardboard Box Challenge was an amazing display of STEM and Reggio-inspired learning in action.

“The students learned so much through the process, whether it was the development of the social skills needed in a collaborative enterprise or math and engineering skills,” said Alexandra Taylor. “It was great to see their initiative and collaboration, with some students working together to build games and students just helping one another out.”

On April 19, more than 75 students and parents came to the Grand Opening of the JPDS-NC Cardboard Arcade. The school was filled with energy, imagination, and excitement. Guests received tickets to play at the cardboard arcade, and our young game-creators even handed out prizes!

“Both our five-year-old and six-year-old participated in the Cardboard Box Challenge by making four of their own arcade games – two of which included a spoon-tossing game and the other based off of the popular ‘Perplexus’ toy,” said parent Nina Schwartz. “I am a structural engineer by education, so my girls are used to building things at home. Working on the Cardboard Box Challenge was a very enjoyable bonding experience for families because it allowed parents to collaborate with their children on the projects; it also allowed the student game-makers to share their creations with other children and adults. Our girls were absolutely tickled that adults and other children came to play their games, and that they were able to play arcade games made by other children.”

The Cardboard Box Challenge was inspired by Caine’s Arcade, a short film about a nine-year-old boy who built an extensive cardboard arcade in his dad’s auto parts store in East Los Angeles. The film inspired a global movement to foster creativity in kids, leading to the launch of the Imagination Foundation and the Global Cardboard Challenge.

Kol Hakavod to Alexandra, and to all the students and parents who worked to build such a fun, extraordinary, and inventive arcade!