High School Students Build Arcade Machines

High School Students Build Arcade Machines
Posted on 06/14/2023
Clover Park and Lakes high school students are leveling up their creativity, construction and teamwork skills this year as part of a cross-course project to build fully functioning arcade cabinets. Every part of the arcade machines are built, designed and programmed by students.

Clover Park School District (CPSD) offers a wide variety of Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses, each offering an array of new skills and experiences. The arcade cabinets bring three separate CTE areas together, combining the efforts of engineering, computer science and art into one big, interactive project.

“All of these subjects are taught separately, so this collaboration allows students to make connections between different careers,” said Lakes Computer Science Teacher Caleb Kamalu. “They are gaining a real understanding of what these careers are all about.”

Clover Park High School (CPHS) debuted its tabletop-sized arcade cabinet at the district STEAM Fair in March. Visitors had the chance to play games and admire the beauty and craftsmanship that went into piecing it all together.

Students in CPHS’s construction technology class measured, cut and sanded wood boards before assembling them and wiring the internal computing components, joystick and buttons. Computer science students developed and coded games and art students designed and painted the exterior.

Once the finishing touches have been made to the cabinet, it will live in CPHS’s cafeteria. Students can play games made by their classmates on their lunch break and during passing periods. The intention of the arcade cabinet is to let students see and touch an example of a project they can work on in CTE courses and encourage them to enroll.

“We want to find more students who are interested in the construction or computer science program, and I think this will help,” said CPHS Construction Technology Teacher Nisa Maksim. “Showing them something that embodies what we do will make it more real for them.”

Lakes is working on two full-sized arcade machines. The construction of the cabinets and wiring is being done by introduction to engineering students, the artwork will be added by graphic design students and the computer science class has programmed a variety of games ready to be played.