May 20, 2024

So STEAM, so Seabury

Months before Covid was a blip on the radar, I saw this wonderful short film called, Caine’s Arcade. This kid was such a Seabury kid and I knew that this was a project that our kids would LOVE and could dive deeply into. The kid in the film, Caine, would spend all summer designing, creating, and building arcade games out of cardboard and items he found at his dad’s auto part store. Seabury kids loved the video and were instantly excited to make their own games. We held a very small arcade (it was not yet dubbed the Artcade) in what was then our lunch room. It was a success.

Fast forward a few years, and in our first real in-person year post-pandemic, we came back to the arcade and it was dubbed the “Artcade." It was the second time around for some of these kids, you could see the difference in their designs and presentations. New kids quickly jumped on board with it and we held a pretty awesome socially distanced event!

For the past two years we have expanded the project. Kids now know what to expect. They have the experience of making games and they have a bank of ideas from what they have seen and played previously. The designs are more refined. They have begun working with themes, incorporating more of their art skills and creating games with elaborate engineering. This is truly a STEAM project. Their process involves brainstorming, problem solving with materials, engineering, testing, revising, designing, etc. This is not just an art project. There are times that kids will bite off more than they can chew. There are projects that get completely changed or traded in for working in a partnership. Part of the process is that sometimes you don’t know the limits of time, materials, skill and here at Seabury, we allow kids the space to shoot for the moon and then adjust if needed. Many times they surprise us and themselves!

The real fun, the real joy, comes from the actual event day where students invite their families to come play the games that they have been working on for weeks (they have almost a month to complete these). It has become the Seabury spring event. They look forward to it all year! This event feels like Seabury; a truly student-centered, hands-on, challenging and engaging project and the bonus is that they LOVE it.

Angela Larsen — Seabury art teacher

Back to blog

Sign In

Sign In Forgot your password?