If you stopped by Nanjing International School’s library foyer on June 7, you’d find a wonderful arcade from wall to wall – all designed and constructed by our Grade 4 students. From every grade in Primary and Secondary, our learners enjoyed hand-made reinterpretations of classics and new innovations with cup tosses, marble pinball, mini bowling, chompers, mazes, and so many others. But it was more than just fun and games – Arcade Day is the product of serious learning and a highlight of the NIS Design experience for Grade 4.
“These students go through a complete design cycle where they design an arcade-style game,” said Primary School Design Teacher Ms. Jo Qiao. “They first design their games on paper and then go through a peer review with feedback. Then comes the build and testing phase. Testing is constant during construction to see how they can improve. It’s a process that ties into the trial-and-error culture of our school.” The entire design cycle is student led: our young designers choose their games, the setup, and vote for the rules – exercising student voice and student choice in a fun and creative way.
The arcade project helps students develop crucial self-management skills and allows them to practice using different tools and materials, all elements of success they will need later in Secondary Design learning.