Search Staff DirectoryBúsqueda en el Directorio del Personal

CCSD59.org

English|Español|Polski

Inventor of “Operation” Game Visit at Brentwood Inspires Innovation

February 16, 2017

“It takes a verrrrry steady hand….”

This phrase will almost certainly bring to mind with a smile a buzzing noise, a bright yellow board, and a red, light-up nose to generations of children. Since 1965, the game “Operation” has been played by millions of people and has an interesting history.

On Wednesday, February 15, this history was shared by the inventor of the game himself, John Spinello, to fourth grade students at Brentwood Elementary School. The fourth graders have been learning about inventions and innovations, so it was an ideal time to bring in Spinello as a guest speaker. Brentwood Teacher Mati Mangialardi, who grew up with his children, helped arrange for Spinello to visit with Stephanie Lambert-Peterson’s class.

Since Spinello’s game is well known to many children, the opportunity to hear his story captivated the attention – and imagination – of the students.

Spinello, who in 1962 was a student at the University of Illinois, was studying industrial design and was assigned a school project of designing a toy. He earned the highest grade in the class with a box-shaped electric toy, made of metal with holes and a crooked maze drilled through the top. It came with a metal rod, and players had to get the rod in the openings without touching the sides or else it would set off a loud bell.

Spinello’s godfather, a top model maker at Marvin Glass Associates at the time, saw the game and brought Spinello to the president of the company. Spinello was offered $500 and a job after college for the rights to the game, which is all he ever received from its creation. The original game, which was first set in “Death Valley” where players were in search of water, was changed to take place in the operating room once it reached the Milton Bradley Company. Spinello’s original toy idea became the game many know and love.

Students prepared well for his visit and asked many questions about how he came up with the idea to make his original toy, what modifications he would make if he made the game today, and about his career in general. Spinello was good-natured and patient with the students. When one student asked if the character on the operation table was modeled after someone he knew, Spinello joked, “Well, I certainly don’t know anyone who looks like Cavity Sam, do you? Ever had a teacher who looked like that?” The students laughed in delight.

Spinello encouraged students to never discount their ideas and to see them through from start to finish. He spoke about how the Operation game, loved by millions of children, started out as a simple idea he had as a college student. After answering all their questions, he signed autographs, including both the box and the game itself for children who brought it in.

Since the students were familiar with the game, and most of them have played it, Lambert-Peterson was grateful Spinello made time to speak to the students. “When students learn about famous inventions or creations, it is often really difficult to grasp that it was originally made by one person with one idea,” she said. “I’m excited for students to learn how one school project sparked a game that has made millions of people happy.”

  • MarkSchwarzThumb
    Mark Schwarz - 59 in :59Mark Schwarz 59 en :59

    Mark Schwarz - 59 in :59Mark Schwarz 59 en :59

    Affectionately (if somewhat inaccurately) called “Coach Schwa” by some of his students, most of us know our next “59 in :59” feature as Mark Schwarz,…Cariñosamente (si un poco incorrectamente) llamado "Entrenador Schwa" por algunos de sus alumnos, la mayoría de nosotros conocemos a nuestro próximo personaje de "59 en…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • RidgeHurricaneThumb
    CCSD59 Community Unifies To Help Hurricane VictimsLa comunidad CCSD59 se une para ayudar a las víctimas del huracán

    CCSD59 Community Unifies To Help Hurricane VictimsLa comunidad CCSD59 se une para ayudar a las víctimas del huracán

    Over the last couple months, it has been nearly impossible to turn on a TV, pick up the newspaper, or go online without hearing about…Durante los últimos meses, ha sido casi imposible encender un televisor, recoger el periódico, o ir en línea sin escuchar sobre los afectados por desastres…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • twe
    CCSD59 Celebrates Staff Excellence With ISBE AwardCCSD59 celebra la excelencia del personal con el premio ISBE

    CCSD59 Celebrates Staff Excellence With ISBE AwardCCSD59 celebra la excelencia del personal con el premio ISBE

    Every year, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recognizes a variety of educational staff and community members for their outstanding contributions to Illinois schools.…Cada año, el Illinois State Board of Education (Junta de Educación del Estado de Illinois) (ISBE) reconoce a una variedad de personal educativo y miembros…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • Eclipse1thumb
    Rupley Students Get a Great View of Solar Eclipse at Harper CollegeLos estudiantes de Rupley obtienen una gran visión del eclipse solar en Harper College

    Rupley Students Get a Great View of Solar Eclipse at Harper CollegeLos estudiantes de Rupley obtienen una gran visión del eclipse solar en Harper College

    On August 21, 2017, CCSD59 students, along with many in North America, were able to see one of nature’s most amazing and unusual sights -…El 21 de agosto de 2017, los estudiantes del CCSD59, junto con muchos en América del Norte, pudieron ver uno de los espectáculos más sorprendentes…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • Summer Instrumental Music Camp Students Put on One Cool FinaleLos estudiantes de verano en el Campamento de Música Instrumental ponen un final genial

    Summer Instrumental Music Camp Students Put on One Cool FinaleLos estudiantes de verano en el Campamento de Música Instrumental ponen un final genial

    During these hot summer months, the well-loved sounds of summertime are everywhere: Children laughing on playgrounds; lifeguard whistles and water splashing; birds singing well into…Durante estos meses de verano calurosos, los sonidos bienamados del verano están por todas partes: Niños que ríen en juegos; Silbatos de salvavidas y salpicaduras…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • Congratulations Class of 2017Felicidades a la Clase de 2017

    Congratulations Class of 2017Felicidades a la Clase de 2017

    To our graduating classes of 2017, we wish you a happy, safe summer and a great beginning to your first year in high school in…Para nuestras clases de graduación de 2017, les deseamos un verano feliz, seguro y un gran comienzo en su primer año en la escuela secundaria…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • Christine Orozco - 59 in :59Christine Orozco - 59 en :59

    Christine Orozco - 59 in :59Christine Orozco - 59 en :59

    As the final installment of the 59 in :59 series for the 16-17 school year, meet Christine Orozco, Devonshire’s LRC director and 27-year employee of…Como la última entrega de los 59 en :59 series para el año escolar 16-17, conozca a Christine Orozco, la directora del LRC de Devonshire…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • Grove Junior High Students Performing in ‘Aladdin Jr’ See a Whole New WorldLos estudiantes de la Escuela Presecundaria Grove realizando en 'Aladdin Jr' ven un nuevo mundo entero

    Grove Junior High Students Performing in ‘Aladdin Jr’ See a Whole New WorldLos estudiantes de la Escuela Presecundaria Grove realizando en 'Aladdin Jr' ven un nuevo mundo entero

    The performers all stood on stage, smiling and waving to the audience. The student audience cheered and applauded, and as the stage curtain began to…Todos los actores estaban en el escenario, sonriendo y saludando al público. La audiencia de estudiantes aplaudieron, y cuando la cortina del escenario comenzó a cerrarse,…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • CCSD59 Alum Soars to Eagle Scout Status for Rupley Service Project Ex alumno de CCSD59 fue elevado a Eagle Scout para el proyecto de servicio Rupley

    CCSD59 Alum Soars to Eagle Scout Status for Rupley Service Project Ex alumno de CCSD59 fue elevado a Eagle Scout para el proyecto de servicio Rupley

    Almost everyone has at least heard of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), and many CCSD59 families either participate in BSA activities themselves, or know…Casi todo el mundo ha oído por lo menos de los Boy Scouts of America (BSA), y muchas familias CCSD59 o participan en las actividades…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • Veronica Rodriguez - 59 in :59Veronica Rodriguez - 59 en :59

    Veronica Rodriguez - 59 in :59Veronica Rodriguez - 59 en :59

    Veronica Rodriguez, fourth grade dual language teacher at Juliette Low, loved to read and go to school at a young age. As she grew up,…Veronica Rodríguez, maestra de cuarto grado en Juliette Low, le encantaba leer e ir a la escuela a una edad temprana. A medida que crecía,…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • CCSD59 Students Shine at 3rd Annual D59’s Got Talent ShowEstudiantes de CCSD59 brillan en el tercer D59 Got Talent Show anual

    CCSD59 Students Shine at 3rd Annual D59’s Got Talent ShowEstudiantes de CCSD59 brillan en el tercer D59 Got Talent Show anual

    A yo-yo artist. A ukulele player with an original piece of music. A karate demonstrator. A pianist. A gymnast. A ballerina. A cup-stacking magician. And…Un artista del yo-yo. Un jugador del ukulele con una pieza de música original. Un demostrador de karate. Un pianista. Una gimnasta. Una bailarina. Un…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo
  • Junior High Electives Provide Students Choice ClassesLas clases electivas ofrecen a los estudiantes de las presecundarias opciones para escoger

    Junior High Electives Provide Students Choice ClassesLas clases electivas ofrecen a los estudiantes de las presecundarias opciones para escoger

    Here at CCSD59, we strongly recognize the importance of allowing students to help facilitate their own learning. Students who are able to provide input and…Aquí en el CCSD59, reconocemos claramente la importancia de permitir a los estudiantes facilitar su propio aprendizaje. Los estudiantes que pueden ofrecer información sobre qué…

    Continue ReadingSiga Leyendo