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A Cardboard Arcade Project To Engage Young Makers in Design, Circuits, and Programming

In this workshop, participants will build their own Cardboard Arcade game, our middle school maker launch project. Participants use low-tech tools (cardboard, duct tape, foil) and augment them with higher-tech MaKey MaKey boards and Scratch programming to make their games even more interactive. The arcade is then set up for community participation. This project gives participants experience with the basics of fabrication, physical computing, basic programming, collaboration, and iteration. The workshop is based on an activity inspired by Caine’s Arcade and implemented at Black Pine Circle School in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation slides can be found here; related handouts here.

Our inspiration:

Our implementation:

General outline:

  • Play with MaKey MaKey

  • Watch the Caine’s Arcade video

  • Choose/assign groups

  • Brainstorm & sketch arcade ideas

  • Who is your audience (“design thinking”)?

  • Multiple ideas

  • Peer feedback

  • Introduce Scratch & MaKey (no formal Scratch lesson)

  • Build

  • Share with Community

  • Reflect

Partial blog posts:

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