January 19

NEWS AND VIDEO : Playing Pinball, Creating Whiz Kids : The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal posted a story about kids attending Modern Pinball NYC and learning about pinball and how it works.  Great concept.  Wish they did that when I was a kid.

If you’ve ever been a third-grader, you’d probably agree there’s no better place to further your education than a pinball parlor.

That undoubtedly accounted for the unrepressed anticipation displayed by the students at P.S. 145 in Brooklyn as they marched off their school bus and into Modern Pinball NYC in Manhattan’s Kips Bay neighborhood one brisk morning.

“This is listening time,” one teacher informed the awed third-graders, who desired nothing more at that moment than to be let loose on the emporium’s two-dozen machines. “Full body listening.”

Steve Zahler, who owns the arcade with Steve Epstein, addressed the children.

“There are over 2 miles of wire, 2,000 parts in each pinball machine,” he said. “If something goes wrong, it would take a long time to fix.”

One of the many machines at Modern Pinball NYC.

The ostensible purpose of the field trip was to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, through the mysteries of pinball.

“I’m going to tell you a lot of stuff about electricity and magnetism,” explained Steven P. Marsh, a pinball aficionado, patent attorney and former Navy research scientist who leads the classes.

It’s a tribute to Modern Pinball NYC and the fine teachers at P.S. 145 that they didn’t rush into the educational component of the morning too quickly. “After you play for a while, we’re going to see some of the stuff in these pinball machines,” added Dr. Marsh, who holds a doctorate.

Read the rest of the story here: