Fun and Games

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Annalise Foxx (left), Charley Schuler (center) and Maxine Cecila Steinmetz give out stuffed animals for prizes at their very popular arcade game.

Imagination and creativity abounded at Webster Elementary School at its first annual Caine’s Arcade event. Students worked for weeks to create arcade games using recycled material like cardboard boxes, vegetable baskets, plastic cups, clothes pins, paper towel rolls, straws and more.

Children in each grade worked in teams, while the fifth grade students teamed up with their kindergarten buddies. On Tuesday, students had a picnic lunch with their parents and then played the arcade games. 

“The primary goal was around engineering—think structural engineering. However, there were lessons learned in measurements, geometry, other math concepts like angles. There ended up being lots of math, art, industry and science,” Webster Elementary School Principal Patrick Miller said. “Above all else, we learned that it was a lesson in teamwork, collaboration and communication.” 

Caine Monroy is the inspiration for “Caine’s Arcades” around the world. At age 11, Caine spent a summer building an arcade out of cardboard boxes in his dad’s used auto parts store in East Los Angeles. On the last day of summer, filmmaker Nirvan Mullick walked in to buy parts for his car. Mullick checked out the arcade and played a few games. Mullick organized a flash mob to surprise Caine, and made a short film—“Caine’s Arcade”—a global viral sensation, and set up a scholarship fund for Caine. 

STEAM Month Co-Chairs Karin Mihkels Al-Hardan and Connie Jenkin pitched the idea for students. The response was enthusiastic—children went to work for three weeks to create their arcade games. 

For information on Caine’s Arcade, visit cainesarcade.com.