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CSI seniors show elementary students how reading can be a great ride
CSI seniors show elementary students how to bring their books to life
Posted on 11/01/2019
CSI student showing elementary student how to play game
Student working on gameUtica Center for Science and Industry (UCSI) students recently faced some of their toughest clients in a unique trade show showing the future of carnival games.

The clients – Flicking and DeKeyser elementary students – used tickets issued at the trade show to select their favorite games and provide feedback from among 17 possibilities – all built and designed by UCSI students based on literature.

“The games are really cool,” said Harper Highfield, a third grader at Flickinger Elementary. “I really liked all of the games. I really like the ones I can play with my friends.”

The trade show allowed UCSI students to become junior entrepreneurs to pitch new game concepts to more than 60 elementary students.

UCSI teams worked together to create engineering designs of their concepts, working models of their games and marketing materials to sell their ideas to young students.

Justin Littleton, a senior, was part of a team that created a game based on The Canterbury Tales. Customers targeted characters from the book, and scored points based on which row they hit.

“My takeaway its probably the most difficult and the most enjoyable project I have worked on,” he said.

The trade show was a cross-curricular project that combined English and math studies with the UCSI-specific curriculum of engineering technology, multi-media technology and mechatronics.

Each student team had to research and create a carnival game based on a literature selection they had all read. Researching and calculating building specifications and safety limitations were part of the assignment, along with developing a prototype, a marketing plan, and embedding sensor technology controlled by the Arduino platform." 

Popular books used at the show were horror classics, given that the carnival being scheduled on October 30. 

Christina Milosavljevic, a senior, was part of a team that created a Plunko-type game based on Frankenstein where friends competed against each other using ping pong balls decorated as eyeballs. Contestants had to first get through an obstacle course to get the game, and then stood on a stepstool to drop the ball into the game. Sensors lit up when points where earned and students create a program that kept track of results. 

Milsoavljevic said that the competition aspect of the game made it more attractive to the elementary students. 

“We also learned how to catches the eyes of the little kids,” she said.  “A bunch of kids keep coming back to play with new friends, so they seem to like it. That makes me happy because we put in a lot of work.”

In visiting CSI, elementary students also learned about the type of work that goes on at the specialty program.  

“It’s a fun way get them exposed to what we do here,” Littleton said.