A Cardboard Carnival!

Creativity thrives with constraints - what if students designed carnival games using only low-tech materials?

Photo of Andrew Goodin

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This idea is inspired by Caine's Arcade and comes from the Imagination Foundation.  

What if students designed a carnival using only low-tech materials?

This project meets all of the items listed in the Checklist for Designing Innovation Experiences - an authentic audience, student choice, and a demonstration of student learning.  In addition, it can easily be aligned to the framework of design thinking.  

Students build empathy via watching Caine’s Arcade and other carnival games in action, they define a specific challenge (e.g. How might we make an experience that is just difficult enough to inspire users to keep playing?), and ideate/prototype solutions.  The ideas are then validated via carnival participants who spend “tokens” for their games and provided feedback on a post-carnival survey.

How does this idea help to spark student curiosity?

Due to the authentic audience associated with this project (typically younger students at our school), students are so motivated to make the best game that they learn whatever it takes to do so.

What grade level is this idea most appropriate for?

  • Middle School (5-8)

Evaluation results

4 evaluations so far

1. Do you love this idea?

Yes! I love it. - 100%


Join the conversation:

Photo of William Cavada

Have you also watched the video of 9 year old Caine Monroy about doing the same thing, ties into be an entrepreneur thinking and curiosity thinking.

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