2nd Annual Newton's Arcade
- High School
- Upper School
Mrs. Martin’s, 8th-grade Physical Science students wowed the whole school community by throwing a very successful carnival-style event called Newton’s Arcade.
Mrs. Martin’s, 8th-grade Physical Science students wowed the whole school community by throwing a very successful carnival-style event called Newton’s Arcade. The name refers to Isaac Newton, the physicist regarded as the founder of classical mechanics, the theory of gravitation, and infinitesimal calculus. In mechanics, Newton established the three universal laws of movement which the 8th graders demonstrated with their arcade game creations.
The goal of Newton's Arcade is to give 8th-grade science students an interdisciplinary project to grapple with that has an authentic audience. Students master topics of force in order to explain the science behind their arcade and carnival games, but there are many other skills that they had to develop as well: Students expand their artistic, business, and advertising skills by developing creative ways (e.g. decorations, posters, emails, Instagram posts) to convince students and teachers to both attend the Arcade and to come to their booth in particular when faced with a roomful of options. Students worked on their English literacy by conveying the science behind their games in ways that are clear, concise, scientific, and accessible to a wide variety of ages.
Mrs. Martin thanks the community for their attendance: “So often in school, students do projects that never go past the classroom, their teacher for that subject, or their peers in class. Having teachers and students from so many grades, as well as GWA parents attend was critical to the success of the Arcade.” By taking the project outside of the typical four-walled classroom and engaging with a much larger audience, students are pushed to really work hard and deliver high-quality products. And the payoff is wonderful, too! Mrs. Martin poses the question, “how often, as teachers, are we able to see students having so much fun during a culminating assessment?”
To achieve these wonderful exhibits, the students first had to plan from the perspective of different roles that they were most interested in or felt most talented in( e.g. from a leadership perspective, Public Relations, designer, or engineer). Then, they went through a peer-reviewed design process where they brainstormed multiple ideas for games and gave/received feedback. Based on that feedback and further reflection, students decided to create one game and developed a prototype that then evolved into the game itself. However, as many groups experienced, even when you have a great idea, putting it into practice is another thing entirely and many games evolved over time from their originally conceived version. Final products (i.e. games, posters, and booth decorations) were finalized and then presented to the GWA greater community for a wonderful morning of science and fun.