Pinball Class Teaches STEAM, History, Culture and Manners!

Students assembled their own pinball machine in the elective pinball class. This machine was from the William White collection.

    A pilot class at the East Bay School for Boys has turned out to be a big success. It is a STEAM related class that uses the carrot of a pinball machine from the William White collection to garner interest in learning about how they work, the art and history of them, and the the physics and social courtesy involved in their play. The one hour classes introduced electricity, physics, art, culture, history, math, logic and more. Halfway through we assembled the pinball machine and then we started playing it at the last half hour of each class.

     What is usually a tedious chore of trying to get students to learn Boolean Algerbra becomes an enjoyable task when you show how to light a pinball machines "specials" to get free games using a logic table. The math behind Hooke's law is easier to explain when you put it up against the backdrop of pulling back the plunger a certain amount to achieve the "skill shot" that starts each game. Even the art on the 1970 Gottlieb Aquarius triggered an interest in astrology, something most of the boys in the class had never heard of. The examples go on and on, all the way to even teaching social skills such as not interfering with someone playing the game and being respectful while observing.

     If you are interested in this class offering for your school, write  using the subject line, "Pinball Steam".