HORSHAM -- It’s never too early to start planning for Christmas, especially when building toys the old-fashioned way. Students in Nick Pompei’s Manufacturing & Engineering class are making a spin-off of the board game Binho, which is like having a small soccer stadium in your living room. In Binho, the goal is to flick the marble into the net on the other side of the field and score points.

Pompei’s class is making ten games to donate to Toys for Tots, a foundation started by the U.S. Marine Corps to collect unwrapped toys and distribute them to less fortunate children at Christmas. Pompei’s class will help spread the message of joy and hope by donating these hand-crafted games.

Students began building the boards in October using the new CNC router and laser cutter from the Hatboro-Horsham Education Foundation grant money.

“The CNC machine was able to save us dozens of man hours drilling precision holes for the pegs, and the laser cutter was able to make the stencils that we used to paint onto the fields,” said Pompei.

One of the sewing classes also offered a hand by sewing elastic bands for the game.

Since 2007, Pompei’s class has designed and built more than 100 functional and elaborate toys for the donation drive. Previous projects include foosball tables, slap hockey, chess/checkers, skeeball, shuffleboard-style games, bicycles and more.

Students will drop off the games at the distribution center at the beginning of December and help the volunteers sort the donations.

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