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Bronxville Middle School Students Invent, Create Original Board Games

Bronxville Middle School students have recently been tasked with creating and showcasing their own original board games.
Bronxville Middle School students have recently been tasked with creating and showcasing their own original board games. Video Credit: Zak Failla
Bronxville Middle School eighth-graders Caitlin Mooney and Sasha Paradase created theirown board game around the show “Friends.”
Bronxville Middle School eighth-graders Caitlin Mooney and Sasha Paradase created theirown board game around the show “Friends.” Photo Credit: Zak Failla
(from left) Bronxville Middle School eighth-graders Sasha Paradase, Molly Denning and
Caitlin Mooney created a New York City subway map-themed game around the show “Friends.”
(from left) Bronxville Middle School eighth-graders Sasha Paradase, Molly Denning and Caitlin Mooney created a New York City subway map-themed game around the show “Friends.” Photo Credit: Contributed
Bronxville Middle School students in Greg Di Stefano’s technology class have been working
together to design their own board games. One group reinvented Connect 4 by adding a third player that can make alliances and sabotage the game.
Bronxville Middle School students in Greg Di Stefano’s technology class have been working together to design their own board games. One group reinvented Connect 4 by adding a third player that can make alliances and sabotage the game. Photo Credit: Contributed
Bronxville Middle School technology teacher Greg Di Stefano helps a student use a woodcarving machine to create a board game.
Bronxville Middle School technology teacher Greg Di Stefano helps a student use a woodcarving machine to create a board game. Photo Credit: Contributed

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. - Several Bronxville students had their brains and creativity tested this semester, when they were saddled with the task of inventing and creating their own, original board games.

After weeks of collaborative work, Bronxville Middle School students in Greg DiStefano’s technology classes unveiled some of the games they created, complete with prototypes designed using a 3-D printer and wood carving machine.

The innovative project began cohesively, with the students playing traditional board games in class. They were then asked to invent and implement new rules for their favorite games, before they were asked to incorporate their own original ideas into a brand new game.

According to DiStefano, the students designed each aspect of the game on a computer and made paper prototypes of those original games to exercise their ideas before making their final hands-on model.

“One of the big driving forces behind this kind of project is that they have to use a computer and automated machinery in order to realize their ideas, so we’re not just making pretty pictures on a computer, we’re making something that would come to real life,” he noted. “Student voice is a really big aspect of this.”

The students’ projects included a reinvention of Connect Four by adding a third player, a game based on the television show “Friends,” and the Manhattan subway system. By the end of the year, all middle school students will have completed their own board game to take home to their families.

“We made everything; the board, the cards and the rules,” eighth-grade student Caitlin Mooney, who worked on the ‘Friends’ game, noted.

“We printed our own game pieces on a 3-D printer and it’s really cool the way they turned out,” Mooney’s partner Sasha Paradase added. “They look like ordinary game pieces, except they’re made out of plastic and we made them ourselves.”

DiStefano commented that the scope of the project is intended to force students to use their minds in different, creative ways. He said that “besides acting as game designers, (students) had to be cognizant of the end user and make sure whoever played the game would have a good experience.”

“You give the same project to every single student, and I won’t get two identical results back, which makes it pretty challenging, especially for me,” he said. “But that’s also what makes it a highly rewarding situation.”

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