Electric Gamebox Challenge

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In this design challenge activity, learners invent a pinball-like game where a kick stick hits a ping pong ball into a target that buzzes. This detailed guide includes step-by-step instructions on how to introduce the challenge, brainstorm circuits, and set up the design process as well as related video clips. By learning how to build a game, learners experience a fun, hands-on way to get a taste for the design process.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan

English, Spanish

Materials List (per student)

  • kick stick from the previous session
  • battery, either 9 V and connector or AA and holder (see step 4)
  • buzzer
  • paper clips
  • scissors
  • aluminum foil
  • wire strippers
  • shallow box (e.g., copier-paper box top, lettuce box, berry box, etc.)
  • duct tape
  • paper cup (4 oz.)
  • Ping Pong ball
  • hook-up wire (e.g., 22-gauge, stranded)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Charges and Currents
      • Electromagnetic Fields
      • Electric Circuits
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Electronics
  • Games
  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • hear
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Design Squad Nation


Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 0810996