STEM Board Game Class Challenges Students with New Games and Old Favorites

The PYLUSD Summer Enrichment Class introduces students to new friends while teaching strategy and using STEM skills.


Students challenge each other in a game of “Gobbler” a new STEM tick tack, toe game.

While many students look forward to sleeping in during the summer or playing on their computer, students in the PYLUSD Summer Enrichment “STEM Board Games Class” offered this summer at Golden Elementary are enjoying making new friends while facing board game challenges.

“First and foremost I want my students to have fun and meet new friends. My mission is to have students experience the joy of playing non-computer based games that they may be able to play almost anywhere with friends and family. These games require skill, focus, and of course, some luck.”

During the traditional school year Mrs. Perez teaches language arts and newspaper at Bernardo Yorba Middle School, but outside of class she enjoys crafting, working out at the gym, and reading. She says her two kids, who both attend Esperanza High School, keep her busy too because she has to get them to and from activities.

When asked what inspired her to create this class, she replied, “I know that many students have not had opportunities to play some of the newest and highly rated card and board games that have been introduced in the last couple of years, many of which use STEM skills.  I, myself, have very fond memories of playing board games and card games with my sister during the summer.”

Although fun and successful, there can be challenges to creating any kind of class. Mrs. Perez stated, “One of the greatest challenges was researching and finding games that would appeal to different age and skill levels. I researched the top rated games and worked to find a variety that would appeal to different interests.”

“Some of the ‘games’ that I purchased can be played by one person. Other games utilize creativity and may not have one correct answer. I added a number of “classic” games as well as many students have not had the opportunity to try games that have been around for a long time and are still relevant and challenging.”

“In class, students are enjoying ‘Chain Reaction’, a STEM game that has students creating obstacles and pathways for a ball to roll. ‘Laser Maze’, ‘Goblet’, ‘Exploding Kittens’, ‘Suspend Junior’, ‘Magna Tiles’, and ‘Rat-a-Tat-Cat’ as well as a number of more traditional games such as ‘Sorry’ and ‘Clue’.”