Updated: Apr 6, 2021
No matter your age, no matter your interests, there is a good chance you have played pinball at some point in your life. Students at Red Bank High School have been working hard on assembling a pinball machine in their VW eLab. Approximately a dozen students started the project this semester, and they had the chance to test out their work recently.
Cardboard for the playboard
Wood for the exterior
3D printed plastic flippers
Playboard stickers created with the vinyl cutter
To add to the fun, the teachers have turned the project into a competition between the school's VW eLab class, art class, and STEM class to see which team can build the coolest playboard. Students will have the opportunity to present their creations at Red Bank High’s ROAR night this March. ROAR night is an annual school event that showcases student academic work. The entire school participates in the exhibit night’s reflection on academic rigor.
The students believe the VW eLab environment has granted them the opportunity to experience a different type of classroom. Freshmen Ashley Flanagan and Ariana Vega worked together on a team this semester. “Learning in the VW eLab opened me up to other things, like the real world of building and testing ideas out,” said Flanagan. Vega also had a similar perspective, stating, “Before this class, you didn’t know how to work with certain machines. Once you’re in the class, you get the hands-on experience. Creating actual playboards and making our own designs has been fun and a great learning experience.”
Students’ time in the VW eLabs has also been helpful in preparing them to contemplate what they would like to pursue after they graduate. “Our knowledge from what we learn in the VW eLab can help us get jobs at companies like Volkswagen and Amazon,” said freshman Kaleb Hale. “We learn a variety of different skills, and once we’re done with a project, we have the opportunity to keep adding to it.”
Red Bank High’s VW eLab specialist, Matthew Craig, has also enjoyed adapting to the environment. “My approach has changed with processes within the past couple of years because of the new technology I’ve been given,” states Craig. “We primarily focus on design and planning in the VW eLab, because constructing happens quickly afterward.” Craig also discussed that he uses applied learning concepts in his teaching methods. “I want to know the why behind what we’re learning in the classroom and how I can apply that to real world experiences,” said Craig.
We look forward to seeing the innovative concepts presented at this year's ROAR night that stem from collaboration in the VW eLab. For more pictures on the construction behind the PinBox 3000, along with other projects, check out the gallery below!