May 12, 2023

Library’s Cardboard Carnival Showcases 20-plus Table-top Games Designed and Built by Virginia Beach Students

Step right up, folks! Head to the Virginia Beach Public Library (VBPL) Cardboard Carnival Showcase, this Saturday, May 13, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library. Enjoy playing more than 20 table-top carnival games designed and built by Virginia Beach elementary and middle school students using cardboard, craft supplies and motorized elements. You'll also have the opportunity to play with robots and other "Take-Home Tech" items available at VBPL. The event is free and open to all ages.

Cardboard Carnival is the grand finale for a VBPL and Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) collaboration that began last winter. Along with their teachers, students with an identified STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) interest in grades four through eight at Bettie F. Williams Elementary, Bayside Middle School and Bayside Sixth Grade campus participated.

Cardboard Carnival Collaboration

VBPL's Technology Education Librarian Ashley Renn planned the Cardboard Carnival project, based on a program at Evanston Public Library in Illinois. The Virginia Beach Library Foundation (VBLF) provided a grant of nearly $5,000 for game-building supplies, student incentives and prizes.

Partnering with VBCPS teachers, VBPL staff visited the students each week, introducing technology and engineering concepts and providing help and encouragement as the students designed and built their games. Each game had to include at least one obstacle, a motorized component and a win/lose system. VBPL provided the materials for the games, from servo motors – electronic devices that rotate and push parts of a machine – to cords, wires, lights, batteries and other electronic accessories, to hot glue guns, skewers, marbles, rubber bands and other crafting supplies.

Participating students received ring lights and Bluetooth speakers for their efforts and will have the chance to win a prize drawing for a 3D pen, Sphero robot and a drone, all funded by the VBLF grant.

About Virginia Beach Public Library

Virginia Beach Public Library includes a central library, a joint-use library in partnership with Tidewater Community College, seven area libraries and a public law library. Services include workforce development and job-search support, small business resources, computer and technology classes, early literacy classes and outreach, and local history archives and programs. In addition to books, music, magazines and movies in tangible and digital formats, the library provides online research tools accessible from home or work, and a variety of specialty collections. Visit for more information.

A student displays the game built for the Cardboard Carnival Showcase.

A student displays the game built for the Cardboard Carnival Showcase.

Contact Information

Contact Information

Christine Brantley

Keep Reading

See All Posts