Carnival Games Challenge Part 1

Design an interactive game!

Session ROLES:

🐙 = Site Coordinator

🦉= Mentor

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Notes for Site Coordinators and Mentors:

  • This is part 1 of the Carnival Games Challenge.

  • This challenge is structured in three parts. The first two sessions focus on creating and remixing unique carnival games with littleBits. In the third session, you will host a Carnival Showcase where girls, mentors, and parents will take turns playing each other’s games. 

  • Please invite parents and caregivers to come partake in the final Carnival Showcase session!

  • This session guide provides a detailed outline for part 1 of the Carnival Games Challenge, but feel free to improvise or put your own spin to things. If you have an idea for a challenge or prompt that will get girls excited, go for it! If something is not working well, change course and experiment another path forward.  If you do change things up, we would love to hear what has been successful for you!

Get Social!

📷 We love to see invention in action! Take photos/videos of your session and tag us on social with the hashtag #snapthegap. *Please make sure you have sharing authorization from parents and your affiliated organization before posting.

 

Session Overview

The Carnival Games Challenge is structured in three parts. This session is Part 1 of the Carnival Games Challenge.

The best carnival games often use electronics to make things louder, brighter, and more exciting. In this challenge, girls will use Bits and other materials to remake their favorite carnival game, or imagine a brand new game. 

  1. First they will brainstorm ideas for their game and explore how Bits can be used with different materials. 

  2. Then they will build and test multiple prototypes of their favorite idea. 

  3. At the close of the challenge, they will invite others to play their games and explain the rules and experience what it takes to win.

 

Session Details

Difficulty:

Intermediate

Duration:

2 hours

Subjects: 

Engineering

Art/Design

Prerequisite Knowledge:

Intro to littleBits

Invention Cycle

 

Supplies

Bits + Accessories:

Snap the Gap STEM Kit

Device:

Mentors will need to bring a connected device (phone, tablet, or computer) to access instructional videos

Recycled Materials:

Ex: cardboard, cereal boxes, plastic bottles, paper towel tubes, etc. You can work with girls and mentors to collectively bring these supplies in as needed.

Tools:

Scissors

Other Materials:

Extra 9V batteries

Tape

Colored Paper

Markers

Pen/Pencil & Paper

 

Description

Theme: Interaction Design

Objectives: By the end of the Carnival Games Challenge, girls will be able to:

  • Use actual carnival games as inspiration for the games that they’d like to reinvent.

  • Create a functioning circuit(s) that brings their game to life (can be motion, lights, sound or a combination of).

  • Design a carnival game, that is real or imagined.

  • Give and receive constructive verbal feedback while testing their inventions.

  • Write an instruction set for creating their game and how players can win.

  • Share their game with others and explain the rules of the game.

 


Set Up

🐙SITE COORDINATORS: 

  • Make sure all the supplies for this session are prepped and ready to go. Discuss with mentors if you need help gathering recycled materials.

    • Place a variety of construction materials and tools in a central location in the room.

  • Note that girls will need to be able to store their in-progress inventions in between sessions 1 & 2 & 3.

  • This challenge can be done individually or in small groups (2–3 girls). Decide beforehand what makes the most sense for your site. If girls are participating in groups, be sure that they keep track of the Bits and accessories they use so everyone has a full set at the end of the challenge.

  • For this challenge, we suggest handing out the kits during the CREATE phase (after the ideation activities) to keep girls focused on initial instructions.

🦉MENTORS: 

Make sure to bring a charged connected device (phone, iPad, or computer) to access instructional videos during the session.

 

Meet Up

5 min

🐙SITE COORDINATORS: 

  • Take attendance and make sure mentors and girls are paired off.

🦉MENTORS: 

  • Check in with your mentee to make sure she signed up with DIY.org (previously JAM.com)

  • Take turns asking each other questions. Example prompts:

    • DIY: Discuss what your mentee explored on DIY.org since last session. What topics did they find interesting and why? Did they participate in any challenges. If possible, take a look together on DIY.org.

    • What's one thing you created or invented this week?

 

Introduce

10 min

🐙SITE COORDINATORS INTRODUCE THE SESSION

Introduce the session objectives and the concept behind the challenge:

“Today you will use littleBits to recreate or design your own carnival game!”

Ask: What are some of your favorite carnival games that incorporate electronics? Girls can draw, write, or talk with a partner to respond to the question.

Ask: Who would like to share and describe one game that you drew/wrote about/talked about? Let a few learners share ideas.

Before jumping into the challenge, provide a quick review of the Invention Cycle framework. Ask girls to share lessons learned about Bits, the invention process and things they enjoyed or struggled with from previous challenges.

Goals for Carnival Games Challenge Part 1: 

  • Brainstorm ideas for different carnival games

  • Choose a direction to work towards 

  • Explore interactions with different Bits

  • Create a sketch of the invention idea

  • Start creating a prototype

 

Inspire

10 min

🦉MENTORS Review session inspiration videoS and prompts with girls 

These videos show examples of interactive games invented with littleBits and other materials. Take a look!

 

Invent a game that puts a new spin on an old arcade favorite: the Pinball Machine. Use the slide dimmer to bounce the ball all over this invention. But watch out, the ball will bounce and bump all over the box like it's out of control!

This project is created with littleBits by BONEVET makers to show the glorious moment when Majlinda Kelmendi won the gold medal at the Rio Olympics Women's Judo Final. The game can be played by two players.

 

Marble Mission: an arcade game made with littleBits!

Arcade game made with littleBits: you can make targets with prizes behind them that are released when hit by a coin

 

littleBits Wrestling Game

Tech Table Tennis

 

Create

80 min

🦉MENTORS: 

Facilitate the CREATE activities with mentees.

🐙SITE COORDINATORS: 

During the CREATE activities, float around the room and observe/help out where needed. You will also monitor the time and announce when the group should come together near the end.


Carnival Games Challenge

Design an interactive game!

 
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Brainstorm:

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  • Prompt girls to create a list (either as an entire, or in small teams) of carnival games they would like to create. If girls are feeling creative, they can dream up their own game.

  • Have them sketch out or write down three ideas.

 

Choose an Idea:

Have girls choose one idea to bring to life. 

  • As a group or in small teams discuss: What are the constraints?

    • Constraints are the limits and requirements that need to be considered in the invention process. Examples include time, materials, weight. Have girls detail any constraints that they may need to keep in mind as they work.

  • What are the criteria for success?

    • How will girls know if their invention works? Describe the number-one goal for the invention. What qualities are important for the invention to have?

    • How will players know when they win or lose the game? What are the rules players should follow?

  • For girls who are designing a new game, have them consider the following elements: 

    • COMPONENTS: Whether it’s the players that make the game, little wooden pawns, or extraterrestrial obstacles, your game needs items.

    • PLAYERS: Is it an individual or multi-player game?

    • SPACE: Well, it all needs to happens somewhere, right?

    • MECHANICS: The actions that you take in the game. Think of verbs like jumping, pushing, swinging!

    • GOALS: Make your game have multiple goals that allow your players to make interesting choices.

    • STRATEGY: Even if you are making a very simple game, make sure that it

    • allows for some strategy so that, if played again, the game will not give the same outcomes. Bottom line: If the same person is winning over and over, something is wrong.

    • SURPRISES: You might not be the surprise type, but a game is no fun without some unexpected moments.

 

Explore your Bits and Materials

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  • Instruct girls to look through their available Bits and materials to see how they could (or couldn’t) help solve their problem. 

  • For example, how could a servo trigger a proximity sensor? How could a buzzer give feedback about the game? How could other materials (e.g. books, cardboard, cups) serve as triggers or targets? If girls get stuck, try snapping a Bit into a circuit or read through the Snap the Gap STEM Kit Bit Index

 

Sketch Out Your Idea

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  • Girls create a drawing(s) of their first prototype, labeling Bits and any important features. A description of how the prototype is supposed to work can be included. 

  • Describe the #1 goal for the invention

  • What do you want your invention to look like?

*SAVE THIS SKETCH FOR REFERENCE IN THE NEXT SESSION

 

Create your First Prototype (time permitting)

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  • A prototype is a simple model that lets you test out your idea!

  • This is a time for girls to dig into the Bits and materials and start to bring their ideas to life. Think big!

  • Use your sketch as inspiration for your first prototype.

  • Don’t worry about getting everything right on the first try! The important thing is to just get started and experiment. Building a physical model of your idea makes it easier to share with others and collect feedback on your design.  This is a time to dig into the Bits and materials and start to bring your ideas to life.

 

Make a plan for next session

  • In the next session, let girls know that they will test, and improve their carnival game. They will also make a poster of how it works and the rules for winning.

  • Discuss with your mentee if there are any other special materials they want to use for their invention. 

  • Make a plan to bring these materials for next session if you don’t have them in this session. Perhaps you can divide and conquer - you can bring a few things and so can your mentee.

 

Reflect

5 Min

🦉MENTORS: 

Reflect with your mentee: “What is one new thing that you learned during this challenge?”

 

Close

10 Min

Wrap Up

🦉MENTORS:

  • Discuss with your mentee if there are any special materials they want to use for their final invention. Make a plan to bring these materials for next session. Perhaps you can divide and conquer - you can bring a few things and so can your mentee. 

  • Make sure girls power off the Power Bit and disconnect the battery.

  • Place all Bits & Accessories that you are not using back in the box.

  • Store the sketch in the kit box as well so you can reference it next time.

🐙SITE COORDINATORS:

  • Find a safe place to store girls’ prototypes until the next session.

  • Store kits away for next time.

  • Announce plan for next session:

    • Finish first prototype (if you haven’t already done so)

    • Test your prototype and get feedback from others

    • Iterate and update your prototype

    • Create a poster or flyer that explains the rules for your game and what it takes to win

 

Log Your Session

Tell Us How It Went

Your feedback is essential to help us improve the program!

🐙SITE COORDINATORS

🦉MENTORS 

After the session, please fill out the Session Feedback Form

Get Social! 

📷 We love to see invention in action! Take photos/videos of your session and tag us on social with the hashtag #snapthegap. *Please make sure you have sharing authorization from parents and your affiliated organization before posting.