For the fifth year in a row, Lower School students participated in the annual #CardboardChallenge to imagine, design, plan and create structures.
Inspired by a 9-year old boy in East L.A., MVPS students joined in the national initiative to create cardboard arcades — exercising curiosity, making connections, and demonstrating creativity.
The Cardboard Challenge, launched by Imagination Foundation whose mission is to foster creativity and entrepreneurship in children around the world, offers students an opportunity to design and build — using their imaginations, recycled materials and cardboard.
Through a playful learning experience while exercising their design thinking skills, students in grades K-4 demonstrated their understanding of of the DEEPdt process as they prototyped and built their creations. Grade 4 students collaborated with their younger counterparts, to design arcade games for Kindergarten and first grade students.
Director of Media and Maker Programs Jim Tiffin was on the courtyard to oversee the project through to completion. This year, he built a clean-up component into the process. As leaders of the Lower School, fourth graders picked up every piece of cardboard tape, paper and for recycling – teaching them yet one more lesson for practical application.
“We are making a claw machine. Our Kindergarten friends are going to have to close their eyes to use it.”
“I’ve got an idea to make it taller and more stable.”
“One of our users likes football&one likes gymnastics so we built both types of games. We also have tickets!”
“We need something under here to hold up the goal post.”
“Our maze has a hideout at the end.”
“This is a lot harder than I thought”
“What should we use for bumpers in this bowling alley?”
“I learned so much about how to plan and even then we had to make changes!”
Fourth grade teachers wrote reflections and observations of the day.
Emily Trenney: Watching my students prepare and share with the Kindergarten students was by far the best part of the Cardboard Challenge. I have never seen my class so excited for an unveiling of a product. Collaboration and communication were present as they worked through problems and assigned jobs to ensure that their projects were completed in the time allotted. I heard students things like, “I can’t wait to Georgia Rose to see what I created!” or “James Q is going to love this!” When we finally joined the Kindergarten students on the Courtyard, my students were impatiently waiting to share their creations. Smiles filled their faces as they climbed into cardboard boxes to run their games. It was incredible to see new relationships blossom between the youngest Lower School students and the Leaders of the Lower School. I also feel like this iteration of the Cardboard Challenge was the best yet. The students were able to go through all steps of the DEEPdt process and felt that their products were complete.
Sophie Lintner: When I look back on Friday’s Cardboard Challenge, there are so many pieces of the day that I enjoyed. But, I really loved watching my students share the game that they built for their Kindergarten partners the most. They were so excited to see their creations in action, and one student even remarked “I can’t wait to see my partner’s face when she sees what we’ve built for her!” I loved their enthusiasm and how they took their work very seriously. I think that this year’s Cardboard Challenge also provided a sense of completion for students, which was very valuable. They were able to share their creations and then didn’t feel so sad when they had to be taken apart because they had already been used and enjoyed.
Jake Thompson: I loved seeing the whole process, but I really enjoyed watching the students build for another student/set of students. Watching them execute a set of plans that they had designed specifically for a student and then see those students interact with their builds. The sense of pride that resulted from the build was a big part of the project and I feel made a much larger impact. Such a fun approach to the cardboard challenge.
Margaret Gunter: While this is a difficult question to answer, I think I enjoyed watching my students share the game they had built the most. There was so much enthusiasm and energy as the fourth graders built and that enthusiasm stayed with my students as the time to share approached. My students had thought through the needs of their user and were prepared to share and precisely explain their game. When my students saw their users playing their game they were grinning with pride, from ear to ear.