STEAM Escape Room Reflecetion


We started off brainstorming clues and designs on the whiteboard tables for a relatively long time. Our goal was to make the clues creative, unique, challenging, and at the same time achievable. At the start we came up with a list of clues, and as a group then decided on a set of clues that would make up our escape room. It was important that the clues were connected to each other so after solving each clue, the escaper will come a step closer to exiting the room. Once our group decided on a broad idea of a set of clues, we typed them up on one note. One thing we decided on was putting a clue at the end of the introduction video. Then, we started adding more and more detail. During the planning process, we were constantly changing the clues around, making them better, and more creative. From pretty much the start we had interest in making one of our clues related to color and liquids (in the end we did actually have a color-liquid clue). 


When the escapers walk into the dark room, all they see is the light from the projected decorations and another projector projecting blue (nothing) as the mac book connected to it is off. Other things that are given to the people from the beginning on are scissors labeled not magic wand and a printed out clue. The first clue which has the question “How many letters are in the alphabet?” (with the answer being ‘eleven’ as “the alphabet” has 11 letters). The answer to that clue is the password to the macbook connected to the projector. Once unlocked, there will be a video playing (and projected), which is actually the introduction video to the escape rooms. At the end of that video there is a clue that has a total of 6 written out numbers. Each pair of numbers is highlighted in a different color, which makes a total of 3 pairs. Because all of this is projected onto a graph (made out of paper, behind is a shelf), it indicates that the number pairs are coordinates. These coordinates, along with other random points, are already drawn on the graph. Now the escapers need to use the scissors to stab through all three of the given coordinates, where behind one of them will be a key. That key will unlock one of the three drawers in the rooms. In the right drawer will be 4 bottles filled with 4 different colored liquids, two beakers, and a printed out clue. Once the clue, or the riddle, is solved, it will tell the escapers to stack the liquids. Once the liquids are stacked, the number of letters of the color of each liquid from top to bottom, will give the escapers the code to the 4 digit lock to two treasure chests (they both have the same code). One of the chests is filled with keys that lead to empty drawers, and the other contains a green laser, and a piece of paper that says to check in the paper bunny head. In that head is a black balloon and the only way to pop it is by pointing the green laser on it (through the eye of the bunny head). Because inside that ballon the final key is inside, once the balloon is popped, the escapers will receive that key and then make their way out of the room.


After the planning process, we went on to test our clues. One clue that we were struggling with was the liquid stacking clue. We tested out the stacking with several sets of liquids to see which one worked the best. We noticed that milk was a hard liquid to work with when stacking, since the liquid contains water and fat, so we decided to use another liquid instead. We kept on changing around the liquids until we were satisfied.

Another challenge was building the magnetic lock to the final door. The lock came with Chinese instructions and therefore gave all three of us a hard time to set it up. Because the lock came in its separated pieces, it costed us a lot of time building it. 

Another challenge was the question of decorations in our room. Because we had the largest room out of the three, we also needed more decoration. We were already busy building our clues, so we didn’t have time to make a large amount of decorations. We did make a small door out of cardboard to paste onto the actual door (as in Alice in Wonderland there was also a small and a big door). We also had several smaller pieces of decorations, but it wasn’t enough. We had to think outside the box to make the room fit the theme more. We decided to create backgrounds on our MacBooks the way it looked in the actual move (flying couches, pianos, clocks, etc.), and then projected them onto the walls of the room.


STEAM Escape Room Design Reflection

In STEAM class we are working on creating three connected escape rooms with the theme dark fairy tales: Alice in Wonderland. The group that I’m in is designing the first escape room. Our goal is to make the escapers find the key to the door that will lead them to the second room.

By now, our group has divided up the process of getting out of the room into three sections, or three clues.

First, we had to make sure that all of our clues are somewhat related to the story of Alice in Wonderland, so that when people go do it, they will keep thinking of the fairy tale. While creating the clues, we had to watch out for a lot of things.

All of our clues had to somehow connect, and let the escapers get to somewhere after completing the first clue. All of the clues will have to be hard enough to be challenging, and not too easy to make it boring. It has to be balanced just right, so that the escapers will feel accomplished when they escape the room. It is hard finding that balance, as we want to be very creative with our clues as well. When brainstorming, we sometimes had to sit and think if it would make sense for the escaper to do what we want them to do.

Another thing that made the whole task hard, was that we always have to make sure that every clue includes all of the components of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). A lot of times, we don’t bring in enough science into these escape room clues (this was the case in our previous small practice clue projects). So we decided to make one clue entirely based on science. We decided to create a clue based on liquid stacking, and every liquid will have a different color. We also want to include math in our clues, which is hard as we don’t want all three clues to be math related.

I am quite happy with the clues that we came up with. The thing I’m not sure about is if the escapers will find the clues rather easy or hard. One thing we could do is ask classmates outside of our group to try test our clues, and tell us how challenging it was.

At first, I imagined creating the clues of an escape room to be the easy part, since you can be creative and come up with whatever you want. I was wrong. Because you have to be so creative with every clue, and have to make it challenging but not too hard, and have to relate it to the overall theme, and have to include the components of STEAM, it made it so hard. It is great once you come up with the perfect clue, but then you also have to come up with an agreement with your group members. I learned, that it can be hard doing something simple if you have to pay attention to so many things.

Overall it was fun creating the clues for the escape room that we are going to build. One thing I want to be sure of, is to have every single clue and riddle, and details to those, written down in a shared space, so once we start building, we will always have it by our side. In future I am also looking forward to document our process more on Instagram.