Spring View's Amped Up Game Room Is More Than Cool
If you are a middle school student, where do you go during lunchtime if you do not want to be outside, or maybe you feel lonely? It is not always easy. Spring View Middle School has created a fun, safe option for students. Years ago, working with OVSD middle school counselors, Spring View created an indoor space with board games as another lunch option. Today, teacher Pete Cooley has taken the pinball and run with it, so to speak.
Mr. Cooley, in addition to teaching 6th grade math and science, enjoys restoring vintage electro-mechanical arcade games, carpentry and woodworking. He put his arcade skills to work and created an amped up version of the game room this fall. He added pinball machines, which were pulled from his personal collection, donations, and a few more from Craigslist. He brought in pool tables, which were donated by Hollywood Park when it closed and Tumbleweeds in Huntington Beach. There is a foosball table. He added flat screens and Nintendo Switches. Old school card and board games fill a cabinet near the front door. And finally, he made over the room with black fabric, signs and lighting. What’s next, Skee-ball?
The game room is more than just a “game room.” It continues to be a place students can go as another option during lunch, but it is also demonstrates the staff’s commitment to its students. The games help students, both general and special education, with hand-eye coordination for large and small motor skills.
Mr. Cooley has even added a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) component. He opens ups the pinball machines from time to time to show students how they work and teach about the logic of pinball and simple circuits.
Spring View staff members praise Mr. Cooley’s efforts with the upgraded game room, which caters to sixth graders and seventh/eighth graders on alternating days. Spring View aims to redefine the middle school lunch vibe and provide students with creative options.