Best of the Week 2019-2020: Teaching to the Future


Students from the IB Design Technology class have teamed up with members of the Programming Club to refurbish a donated Tempest arcade machine for the upcoming Wings 2020 Auction. Utilizing the tools and workspace available in the Manufacturing Lab & Makers Deck in the Lowe Institute for Innovation, students have created new designs to integrate with the vintage exterior and create a platform for players to play a variety of games on one machine. "Our goal is to refurbish this donated machine to a working state and improve it with new technology to create renewed value and worth to a legacy product," says Engineering Department Chair Mr. JC Froelich '08. "This project has allowed students to understand the refurbishing process and how new technology and designs must be able to integrate with older ones."

Prior to starting the construction process, students had to research original arcade games and how they were designed to best restore the Tempest arcade machine to its original glory with their own personal touch. The Programming Club is creating the user interface to replicate classic '80's and '90's arcade games that the new and improved machine will feature by using a custom operating system based on Linux. Additionally, they have assisted with the wiring and electronic components of the machine as well. "Multiple students have stepped up as leaders in different aspects of this project," says Mr. Froelich. "Cole Corcoran has taken the lead of designing a new mount for the game monitor, while Ethan Loderstedt has led a group of students in creating a brand new control platform. Josh Pulizzi and Max Scanlan have also been leaders throughout the software development process."

While working on a deadline to have the arcade machine finished and ready for users to play during the Wings 2020 Auction: Classic TV Returns, students have gotten real-world experience in restoring older products through innovative design, computer programming, and engineering while working on a deadline for a client. "This project has taught our students the importance of completing a project with pride so that users can enjoy a well-crafted product," says Mr. Froelich.