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Mrs. Michels from Wisc Rapids WI is requesting Reading Nooks, Desks & Storage through DonorsChoose, the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.

Genius Hour/STEM Time - the Cardboard Arcade: Creativity, Economics, and Choice

Help me give my students tables that will provide flexible work spaces for Genius Hour/STEM Time.

  • $513 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Due to their age and developmental stage, fifth graders can be ultra-focused on the social aspect of school, and have very little interest in academics. All of this can change however, when the students are given a challenge and are allowed to be creative.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said, "Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort." This is particularly true of fifth grade students.

The beauty of implementing Genius Hour/STEM with students is that you get to see them in their element, excited about learning. One student may be working alone when another starts asking questions about the project they're working on. At the same time there are other students who want to work on a group project because they have similar interests. No matter the situation, the students are empowered by: choice, the freedom to be creative, and the opportunity to work with or without their peers.

My Project

Genius Hour/STEM Time gives students a time during the week when they can be creative and pursue their interests. The students love the springboard project of creating a budget and game for the Cardboard Arcade.

The tables selected for this project allow for flexible groupings and differing heights, which is especially important during Genius Hour/STEM Time.

At the beginning of the year, the students fill out job applications. They receive their job assignments and are paid a weekly wage based on whether or not they did their jobs each day. As the first months of school go by, the students begin to accumulate enough funds to help create a game the Cardboard Arcade.

The students are told that they will be creating a game for the Cardboard Arcade. In order to start planning their game, the students must pay rent to reserve a space. Next, the students brainstorm/plan what game they will make, what materials are needed, advertising (the cost), the price of the game (number of tickets), chances the player gets per turn, and if prizes will be given. Once the groups are ready to build, they purchase their items and get started. Building the games can be hard work and students often have to sit on the floor because there's not enough table or counter space available. The tables in this project will help alleviate this problem because work spaces can be created.

After a fun day at the arcade, the students must figure out how much their game made overall. Once they know their profit, the students pay any/all outstanding bills, and reflect upon the success of their game and their budget (strengths, challenges faced, and words of wisdom for next year's game makers).

Mrs. Michels
Grades 3-5
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
ADAPT CREST LARGE LEG TBL W/CAS - SPECIFY COLOR • School Specialty $181.97 2 $363.94
OPTION CLASS - ADAPT CREST TABLE COLOR - OFM • School Specialty $0.00 3 $0.00
BLUE (BLU) - ADAPT TABLE COLOR - OFM • School Specialty $0.00 3 $0.00

Materials cost


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Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


6 Donors


Donations toward project cost


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Project Activity

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