STEAM reflection- Lotta Korhonen

The process for designing our final escape room stated off with brainstorming altogether for the theme by writing down any ideas we had and crossing out the bad ones. After this we all voted for our main theme: Dark Fairy Tales, more specifically, Alice in Wonderland.

To design our first clue me and my partners knew we had to have some sort of video explaining where and what the people doing the escape room have to do, so we brainstormed ideas revolving around this video. We eventually came to the conclusion that the goal of the first clue is to turn the projector on. We also knew that we needed to incorporate each concept of STEAM into that clue so we decided that we will use (M) math in a riddle to help find the code for the MacBook. For (E) engineering and (T) technology, we decide that we must come up with a password, create a video and create a riddle to solve the clue.  We have not yet found any (S) science to incorporate into this first clue, but for (A) art we will make sure everything in the first clue looks aesthetically pleasing and goes with the theme. We got to these conclusions by bouncing our ideas off each other until we came up with what we liked best.

To design our second and third clue, we knew that in the story of Alice in Wonderland, after going though the rabbit hole Alice finds herself in a room with a bottle that says: drink me, etc. We had an idea of using (S) science and some chemical reactions with liquids in the third clue because there was this drinkable potion in the movie. After this me and my partners asked a science teacher for advice on the topic and came up with the conclusion that we didn’t want to do chemical reactions, instead wanted to do liquid stacking for our third clue. The (M)math and (S) science come into this because we would be using the density of certain liquids and stacking them in most dense to least dense. Depending on the color of each liquid, the number of letters in the color is going to be a digit for the lock that will get them out of the room. After deciding this we decided that this liquid stacking would be in the third clue, so we took a look at what we could do for our second clue.

For the second clue my partners and I thought of having the objective to be finding where these liquids will be in the room.  We thought of using (M) math again to make a graph with coordinates that make up a 4 digit number that will open the locked box that will contain these liquids. This box that will contain the liquids for clue three will be engineered(E) by us to fit with the theme and to fit jars that will have the liquids. We have yet to decide further details about our clues.

In previous STEAM classes the process we would use for project was very different, we would focus less on incorporating all aspects of STEAM into a project and instead work on engineering and/or science. I find this a lot more fun because we are not only doing engineering or science or math, but all of them combined.

During this whole time of coming up with clues me and my classmates were also using many resources, which I will talk about below.

•What resources have you used while working on your clues and final design?  Which ones were especially helpful?  Which ones are you thinking you’ll be using a lot?

For our final and largest escape room, I’ve used many resources, some being digital and some being BLAH. A helpful resource I’ve used to help me and my team with a science clue is Mr. Hennigar, me and my classmates came up with the basic idea of wanting to do some type of chemical reactions for our clue. Mr. Hennigar helped us by  recommending us to use the pH of certain liquid combinations for our clue. (We didn’t end up sticking with the pH of liquid combinations, instead came up with the idea to do liquid stacking revolving around the density of each liquid.)

Another resource I use constantly are my classmates. I use them for sharing ideas and getting their feedback and vice versa. For instance, to decide our final theme for our escape room, we all brainstormed ideas together and voted for the final theme. My classmates are always a helpful resource and I’m sure I will use them 24/7.

Some digital resource I use somewhat often are google/youtube. For example, I’ve used google as a resource to find a scientific article that contains the densities of liquids, I then used this information to make a graph as part of our clue. In the very beginning I used youtube as a resource to find videos of what escape rooms look like and act like.

•How do you feel about the work you’ve done so far? What parts of it do you particularly like? Dislike? Why?

Regarding out final project, I have not yet done any physical work on it, only brainstorming, so I cannot refer to it. However, I will refer to the mini escape room I did with Heeju. For the mini escape room project, Heeju and I used Heeju’s idea from her digital escape room to contract a physical escape room that we had a test subject go through. I liked the amount and the type of fake clues we had for our room, however I don’t really like how unappealing our presentation area was, we cold have worked better on that. Another thing I enjoyed was designing the mini escape room and the flow of it because I like escape rooms and hope to be able to make a challenging yet fun one.

•What do you enjoy about designing an escape room?  What have you found the most frustrating? What has helped you in overcoming the frustrations?

So far, I have enjoyed coming up with a theme to create and build everything upon, more specifically, coming up with clues that revolve around the theme. Even though I like having to brainstorm clues that revolve around a theme, I don’t find it so fun and easy to use all the aspects of STEAM in each clue. Me and my classmates have often been left very confused and frustrated trying to come up with a clue that contains all the aspects of STEAM, however we have tried to overcome this by talking with other peers for ideas and searching for ideas on the internet.

•What have you learned about yourself as a collaborator? I have learned that for this project I am quite open minded and up for ideas from my classmates because I know my ideas are not enough and I need other peoples opinions to make our ideas the best/most creative they can be. I have also learned at the same time how to become more open minded to others ideas and gotten better at respecting them because that is how I would want someone to be towards my ideas.

•One thing I would like to get better at as we continue the process this semester is making sure all the clues for my room have all the aspects of STEAM. At first I thought there would be no way I could do that, but as me and my classmates work together, I know that if I use them and my teachers I can come up with clues that have science, technology, engineering, art and math in them. We just started working on our final clues for our escape room and I want to get better at this so that in the end I will have a better understanding of STEAM (and escape rooms).