STEAM Final Reflection

In the beginning, we started off by brainstorming ideas on a whiteboard very vaguely on what we want to have in our room and our clues. For example: we had an idea of wanting to use liquid stacking for science in a clue. The next few classes we decided to use One Note as a platform to easily share our ideas and we then brainstormed more about what we will do for each of our clues.

For our first clue my group knew that by being the first room we had to have some introductory video to let everyone know where they are and what they have to do. With our theme being dark Alice in Wonderland, we came up with the idea of taking parts of the movie and adding scary music and other effects into the video to make it fit the theme.

To make sure we had all the aspects of STEAM in each clue, in the One Note, we wrote down science, technology, engineering, art and math so that we could easily see if we had all the aspects in each clue. (To see how we used all the aspects of STEAM watch flip grid)

To design our clues we knew we wanted to follow the storyline of Alice in Wonderland, so we altogether decided our room would start off with the rabbit hole and the room Alice is in after falling down the rabbit hole. With planning our first clue, we first searched up riddles so that the riddles answer could be the code to open the MacBook and we also made our introduction video.

Solving the first clue was not and should not have been a hard task because we didn’t want the people going into our escape room to not even solve the first clue. The riddle we ended up using for the first clue was: “How many letter are in the alphabet?” and the answer was eleven because there are eleven letters in “The Alphabet”. With this riddle we also had a paper with the full alphabet on it as a distraction. After having opened the MacBook and watching the video, the end of the video would have another riddle leading to the second clue.

For designing and coming up with our second clue we knew that we wanted our audience  to somehow find a key so that they could find the liquids for our third clue, so we somehow brainstormed up the idea of having our audience use math and graphing to get a key. At the same time we knew we had to connect our first clue to the second, so we came up with the idea of having a riddle at the end of our video that would lead to the second clue.

For solving the second clue, after having found the riddle at the end of the video, which was: “When I take five and add six, I get eleven, but when I take six and add seven, I get one. What am I?”, the audience would have to plot the points onto the graph that are shaded in the same color. For example: for 5 and 6, you would have to go to 5 on the X axis and the 6 on the Y axis and poke a hole there with the scissors provided to see if there was a key in those points, if not you would have to go to the next set of points and poke a hole again. After having poked a hole in the right set of points, which is 6 and 11, you would find a key and then would be able to unlock the drawer of liquids for the third clue.

For planning the third clue, from the start we knew that we wanted to do something with liquid stacking for our science aspect and so that is what we decided to use for the last clue. We first researched different types of liquids and their density’s so that we could get a better understanding of what we wanted to do. We then chose 4 liquids with different densities to test out, however, when a few of these liquids didn’t work with the stacking we had to choose a new liquid and replace it with the old one. After finding the right liquids, my group faced the problem that we had to find a way for our audience to get out of the room and so we brainstormed many ideas of of how they could get out: put string around the door handle and having them find scissors and cutting it open, etc. When Mr. Galvez suggested we could order electrical locks for all our doors, we came up with the idea to have the key to the electrical door in a black balloon that would need to be popped by a laser to get out of the room. We wanted to add more science and fun into our room so we came up with using the laser and black balloons. We also came up with the idea of having 2 riddles to help audience figure out what to do with these liquids.

To solve the third clue and get out of the room, after having found the key to open the box with the liquids, you would have to read the riddle: top down color is the number and destiny will decide where the liquid goes. After interpreting these, you could realise that you need to put the liquids in the order of least dense to most dense, because since this is the science part of the clue, you could guess that destiny also means density. After stacking the liquids from most dense to least dense (honey, dish soap, oil and water) you would have to consider the 2nd riddle, top down colour in the number, meaning that the number of letters for the color of the least dense liquid would give you 1 number and the next letters of the next liquid would give you the other 3 digits to open the locked chest. After getting the 4 digits, you would have to open the chests, one will have a false clue that says keep looking and the other chest would have the laser which is labelled the magic wand. Going back to clue 1, if you had looked at the back of the riddle you would be able to see another riddle: only the magic wand can pop the darkness, meaning that only the laser can pop the black balloons holding the key to get out. After popping the right black balloon, aka the balloon in the rabbit head, you would be able to get out of the room.

When we were given electrical locks that we ordered from taobao, we just followed the images on the instructions and got our lock to work. We did have to plan where we will put our lock on the door. After realising how heavy the lock is, we decided the best place to put the lock is at the bottom of the door and so we then hot glued our lock to the bottom of the door so it would stick.

Some challenges my group faced was making sure all the aspects of STEAM were in each clue, we solved this problem by writing down each aspect of STEAM in our OneNote and then brainstorming what we could have for each clue. Another challenge we face was making the lock for our door because all the instructions were in Chinese, so we looked at the images and asked Chinese speaking students if they could help in any way. We also faced the problem of finding the right liquids for our liquid stacking because the first liquids we planned to have didn’t work so well together. We planned to have milk and alcohol as two of the liquids, however when we tested out the milk with the other 3 liquids it mixed with them because milk is made of both water and fats. We faced this problem by doing more research and choosing other liquids and testing them and making sure they work together. Another big challenge we faced was how to decorate our room, since it was the biggest room, we really had to think big and out of the box to make our room look good. We were given an idea to use projectors and have them project some kind of background and so in my group, two of us made backgrounds that would suite the theme and we then chose which one we wanted to use and projected it. Also another problem that we faced was when testing out the projectors, we realised that out MacBooks would turn off after some time and we could not turn that feature off, so we ended up using a iPad that didn’t turn off.

See OneNote for more on our planning and brainstorming.

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).