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Students design game’s frame in technology and physical education lesson

Students play "9 Squares in the Air" in physical education class in the gymnasium.


A lesson for eighth-grade students was not only educational in technology class, it served a purpose for physical education classes and routine use by students.


The students were tasked by technology teacher Joseph Brown to come up with a design for the game “9 Squares in the Air”, which combines volleyball and 4 square.  Students had to build the frame that the game is played in.


Students play "9 Squares in the Air" outside in Poland.



Brown worked with physical education teacher Jason Potempa to make sure the physical education classes could benefit from the game.


Brown told students the project had to be adjustable and portable since it would be used by multiple age groups in physical education classes and at recess.


“We wanted to hone in on critical thinking and the engineering design process. It was nice to see ideas start flowing,” Brown said about the students when they were assigned the project.


The students came up with a design that used PVC piping as poles, lock pins and glue. The height of the frame can be adjusted to seven or five feet, depending on who is playing.


Built in the technology area of the school, it was made so it could be transported up to the gymnasium and outside for recess.


Potempa said the game provides competition for all, highlights fitness and wellness and can incorporate an entire class. 


“It’s an awesome activity that is not just sport-based, it’s more skill-based,” Potempa said, noting just about every student who has played has enjoyed the game.


The game has brought students together. Brown said students are proud to see their work being used by their friends and classmates across the building. 


Potempa noted the project was organic in how it came to be and both teachers are looking forward to similar opportunities for multi-disciplinary lessons in the future.


Students play "9 Squares in the Air" outside in Poland.