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.