So far in STEAM, my group has made 2 and a half prototypes(and sketched out many ideas). We started with the brainstorming process. We jotted down all out our ideas on a big sheet of paper and from there we picked out ideas that we thought would be a good fit for our filmed sequence and developed them further. By this I mean sketching them out, labelling parts/materials, and writing the steps.
The two parts of our sequence that we have made a prototype of are the automated crossbow and the “Vortex”(Its a collection of different tubes at different heights that balls of different sizes will go through). We had brandon make the crossbow since he is the expert in archery. meanwhile, me and Barbs started working on the “Vortex”. This was quite challenging even though it was prototype because the parts had to be in a specific position for it to work. Lastly, we started working as a group on our small scale sequence plan.
We built our prototypes out of what was available in our classroom/school. This includes cardboard(very useful), tin foil, wooden sticks, string, and a glue gun(also very useful). We also used scissors and a small saw. As for our ideas, our number one source was our combined brains and creativity(though we did also look at Pinterest and youtube). It is very likely that we will be using all those materials as we continue this project.
Even though we’ve had our struggles, I am proud of the work we’ve done so far. Even though it can be messy, our group is doing a good job because our work includes details. I also really like the ideas we come up with our combined creativity. Another thing I like about our group is the fact that being creative also helps us solve problems that we encounter along the way.
Designing a sequence is definitely an exciting project because we have a lot of room for creativity. Creating a sequence of reactions is definitely something I’ve daydreamed about before(it makes me think of Home Alone), but I never realised how frustrating and challenging it would be. The most frustrating thing is finding a way to link our different reactions together. The key to overcoming these frustrations is to just spend time brainstorming possibilities and talking them through with your group. Building a prototype is a bit easier, since we are building them based on the designs we made. However, when something doesn’t match up or doesn’t work like we wanted it to, we ask ourselves a lot of questions like “Why doesn’t this work?” and “What changes can we make in order for it to work? ”. In my opinion, communication and questioning are essential for our project to be successful.
From now on, one thing I think we really need to work on as a group is to make sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to the ideas we’ve developed. What I’ve found out while working with my group for this past month is that there are always misunderstandings between us. This is because when we come up with an idea we don’t explain it/talk about it enough, therefore, we all have different perceptions of the idea. Continuing the process this semester, it would great if we were all able to have the same ideas in mind.
One thing I’ve noticed about myself as a collaborator is that I tend to take charge/ leadership of the group. I try to get us going, and ask questions to provoke more in depth thinking(on the behalf of all three of us). When we encounter difficulties or disagreement, I try to motivate my group mates to get past them. As a designer, I always try to think outside the box, but I am also reasonable to an extent. I also think that the theme/ overall look of our room is a very important aspect of the project. As a learner, I find that I process information a lot better when I see it written down.
I work differently from my classmates when it comes to the organisation or prioritisation of tasks of the project. For example, though some may disagree, I think it is better to have the whole sequence figured out before starting to build. That way, we can prevent any mistakes later on when its too complicated to change things.
As for a personal goal, I would like to work on trying to manage the work load better, and being done with things on time. I think to do that, as a group we need to already plan what we will be done with by the end of next class. Also we need to be able to come in during our free time to continue working if we’re not on schedule.
The start of a new semester, the start of another gruelling class. In this case, Steam. We were first introduced to a video made by OkGo which was a music video themed on a Rube Goldberg contraption that sets off many other self-moving contraptions. My personal feelings for this project is that its really lagging behind but with our current rate of work, we should catch up with the rest of the class and soon start working on our actual video design.
What process have you gone through to produce the work you’ve done so far?
First of all, we were penned up into groups then the project was tossed at us. For a fair bit of the next few days given we brainstormed contraptions and sequences to add to the overall filmed sequence then after a few ideas we barreled straight into building the prototype which was A: too big and B: the finale so after wasting two weeks on that one malfunctioning thing we had to restart from the top. Which mechanism should start the thing? What can we add? This will only take 2 seconds what else can we do about it? These are just some examples of the questions we repeatedly asked while working on the project. Now we are past that and building a mini prototype but we still have lots to work on for what we built so far would only amount to 30 seconds tops thinking positively.
What resources have you used while working on your final design?
So far, as for the physical aspect of the first stage, we’ve only used the materials provided in class such as tin foil, tape, strings, small wooden sticks, lots of hot glue gun usage, and a ton of cardboard cut by exactor knives and scissors. We also found a bucket of marbles that we used to test our live prototype and paper clips to hold things together while it was hot with molten glue from the glue gun. We’ve also used a saw to finely cut a thicker piece of wood for a sturdier frame in a prototype.
For the research aspect of resources, nosedived with all of our hearts into youtube and after watching the first video by OkGo, the other two in my group wanted messy things to explode. I’ve also referred to Pinterest for they have some pretty interesting ideas and attacked our recent past memories which came up with archery. Although this was a great idea, with so many safety hazards I was reluctant but we are responsible human beings, right? We’ve visited random websites some point in our research phase but none of the ideas implied anything new to us for we’ve already thought of domino effect and bouncing a ball before even referring to the net.
Which ones were especially helpful?
Youtube and our past were the best resources we had in our reach for which child hasn’t tried to experiment or play with simple toys made by ingenious marketers before? We’ve drawn out the fact that our families are essentially oil and gas or human resources partners so we should be able to access more than the normal group. Physically, for me, the wooden sticks were of great help while creating our structure of the prototype because cardboard bends too easily and the plastic straws which were pretty useful until they bent, started melting after we applied hot glue. Another resource I’ve found indispensable is the extraordinary invention of the hot glue gun which assists us to fasten two objects together. It is so ingenious that even with our real life-sized design, hot glue would be used a ton.
Which ones are you thinking you’ll be using a lot?
As aforementioned, the indispensable hot glue gun and cardboard would be used a ton because cardboard is the main material we have to work with. The hot glue gun because we’d gladly use it to replace the unpleasant and unpredictable stick glue and tape. The most used resource, we’ve come upon would be youtube for there will be a demonstration and how to build it if you have the right video for example catapults and the pulley system was pretty easy to obtain.
How do you feel about the work you’ve done so far?
I feel like we wasted a week on the bigger prototype and in the planning but right now I think we are fairing pretty smoothly besides a few hiccups and bumps along the way. In the group, as we worked, we split the work by doing separate parts so we can accomplish more, quicker. For example, I worked on making a tiny non-working crossbow while the others worked on another small part and once we are done we just add it to the prototype. The problem with this is that we build too fast and the mental planning stage is a little slow. Additionally, sometimes we don’t use the right method to do something like where would be the most optimal space to place this next stage and what to make it to afterwards.
What parts of it do you particularly like? Dislike? Why?
I particularly like the building stage because once I know what to do, I can plug in my earphones, without a reason for anyone to yell or scold me, and just hands on build it. I also like that the other two of my group isn’t the type of people with a strong engineering mindset so they create lots of fun problems to fix. The only thing is that once their mood gets sour its no longer fun. I dislike the fact that hot glue is actually hot glue and can burn your hands as you work because I’ve burnt myself more times than I’d like to count at this point. I also dislike it when the positive work mood was disrupted and made sour because of one silly and preventable mistake.
What do you enjoy about designing a sequence/prototype to music?
So far, we haven’t given much mind to the music and just designed and built the sequence though logical placement and the timing of which when the idea was formulated. We’ve already found the music we want to use in our sequence so after we build the contraption, all that’s required is to sync the whole thing to the beat.
What have you found the most frustrating? What has helped you in overcoming the frustrations?
I found that it was most frustrating when we, the group, receive an idea but all have separate ideas and a different image from the same words. We overcame these situations by talking it out like common people and not stressing out too much. I also find frustrating that the ideas we come up with are so limited and to “overcome” this, we watched satisfying mechanism which we could never build. Another frustrating this about this project is that there is so much time for the little that we have.
What have you learned about yourself as a collaborator?
I learned that I’m not very good at explaining anything and that sometimes it takes a few tries before I get it right. But by then, the other person is already fed up with me and asking someone else. This is, however, to be expected. This was the case for anything that I was either am unsure or don’t know about. I also found that I speak a little
too soft so sometimes I’m not heard but to counter that, I speak louder. But when I’m loud, my volume is too high and it sounds like I’m frustrated and almost fifty percent of the time other people get frustrated as well, for the lack of my communication.
What have you learned about yourself as a designer?
I learned that I’m overly realistic and a mechanically based mindset of a designer for we have many ideas that we shot down by me because they weren’t realistic like adding a bow to the contraption. First of all, safety issues, for what if someone gets injured? There are many parts of a bow and the process of using one is already a danger for anything can snap or break because of its fragility. Then, I’m most likely going to be the first one injured because I’m really clumsy when it comes to fine details such as this in a whole bigger picture and second of all, accuracy. It will take many tries to make it go where we want it to go and each time and because it is smack dab kinda in the middle of the whole design, we’ll have to reset the whole thing which is too time-consuming and can be considered a waste of time. However though instead of renting a bow that no one will supply, we can make an automated on where the likelihood of better accuracy and consistency should be much better. I also discovered I have a mechanical engineering mindset for apparently, I’m really straightforward in saying it’s not possible for common sense. For example, it’s not realistically possible to somehow make something be there at a certain time and do a certain precise cation in 2 seconds without wasting a lot of time in the construction of the thing and fine-tuning the angle and such.
What do these things tell you about yourself as a learner?
I learned that I’m really negative and blunt when I want to do something. Negative as in I keep shooting down ideas for we can’t possibly do or hope to accomplish if we spent our time like we did, and blunt as in, I prefer to cut to chase so we don’t waste any more time on the mater. I also learn that As long as I’m interested in the idea, I’ll persistently try to get it right.
In what ways does the way you work differ from that of your classmates’ style?
I am different from my group mates and classmates for I like to know what I’m going to do and finish it before I do anything else or until I lose concentration or focus on the task I was working on. This mindset works because our group splits off to accomplish small tasks like making the prototype book dominos and glueing it down right while someone makes the contraption that will start after the all the books fall and etc. However not all of us agree with this and sometimes one or two of us want to work on a small basketball hoop together or plan something out together. This disrupts the concentration on the items we were working on then and we are all gonna start arguing about something that one person could and should’ve done because we trust that the person has good ideas.
In what ways do you work differently?
We work differently in the sense of logical thinking even though our artistic designing and overall creation skills are fairly similar. I, myself, preferably like the idea of getting the whole thing done and made first so that the actual functioning and everything can come second and documentation of it all last but the other two of my group like sticking to the book or the teachers instruction so first as all projects should, we brainstormed then brainstormed more. Then instead of making the prototype, we started diagraming every part of the videoed part and that, to me, is not a good use of time then after that, we started making small parts of the prototype. only to realize that it will only last at tops 20 seconds of the 1-minute video. Then back to brainstorming and sketching diagrams. I would’ve done this differently by first looking into ideas and then straight away building the prototype. Only once we are done with the whole thing, we diagram each contraption or spring and voila! done. Then time to make the actual parts of the actual thing which is what most groups are already doing.
In what ways is your work process similar?
We work really similarly in the case where we are perfectionists. Every part needs to look like the actual thing and semi-works. We are also similar in the sense that we want to be efficient with what we are doing but not really efficient so we lag behind in many cases.
One thing I would like to get better at as we continue the process this semester is…
One thing I’d like to get better in doing at this stage of the process is thatI’d like to learn to be more persistent and patient for my group, like me, who loves to the moment they see a path to their goal, recklessly take it. But the problem with recklessly taking shortcuts and random paths are that not all of them are actually going to work.
One goal that I would like to set myself for the rest of the semester is…
One goal I have for this semester is to develop some of my human characteristics, for example, persistence and patience and lowering my perfectionist expectancy. One goal I have for the near future is to be able to work with my groupmates for sometimes throughout our work time, our sync doesn’t match and thus we don’t really cooperate and this slows down our efficiency in class.
How can you make sure you achieve it?
We can definitely cooperate and sync if we communicate more instead of inferring that the outer group members understand perfectly what you want and such. As for the development of my personal characteristics, I just need to demonstrate them more so that by the end of the semester I am more persistent in the process and more patient so that our understanding doesn’t collide and cause a huge argument that leads to nothing.
Thank you for reading my first reflection and hope you follow us as we journey into the world of:
The process we went through to get to where we are, all started with just simply jotting down whatever ideas came to us. We decided that to create an entertaining, crazy but satisfying contraptions similar to the OKgo people work is by jotting down any ideas and any ideas, because all ideas were good ideas.
The actual work that we’ve done so far concludes of us selecting all of our ideas and choose the main ideas(the biggest and interesting reaction) and the sub ideas (smaller one) and combined them to a sequence. Till this very point, new ideas are always being added to our list.
For example, Our theme of our section was to contribute all of our abilities or talent and showcase and portal those into our contraptions. Such as brandon who is our arch expert we came up with an ideas where we could have a part of an arrow shooting through boards and knocking down boards wit lyrics of the sings written on them. As for Laura she likes to show her art skills why using visuals such as paint and colour for aesthetic.
As for me, my skill ability that i hope to incorporate is the idea making itself, Music related things and finally editing and filming.
As for things we’ve created has been this vortex, ball illusion where it does down the slides as the ball “increasingly” gets (looks) bigger and gets smaller.
We’ve got a few other extra things that are happening too so once the ideas starts to flow together so will everything else.
Originally we planned on using a lot more materials, that may not have been accessible in school because our creative ideas involve all sorts of weird things; Glitter, plastic tubes, umbrellas, archery board, balling pins, rubber bands….You name it, however we only ended up using a selectedfew. Materials that we did find really useful and most used from the start of project, has been cardboard, tin foil, glue gun and listing the obvious such as scissors and mini saws, tiny wooden sticks. Just anything that was available in the classrooms basically we used them .
All these materials just for the prototype although in the future I predict that those items will be used in our actual models, especially the glue gun. The glue gun is super useful because it’s strong and its fast dry, when it comes to building multiple part you don’t have time to wait.
Talking of resources, it’s been convenient having a document like whole sheet of paper to write your ideas down especially for us, we as a group process better when we have things documented.
So far we’ve been working on the prototype, currently my feelings are concerned because we’ve really spent a long time brain storming ideas trying to form a sequence overall, we have all these ideas although its like were not sure if were capable of achieving them so we scratched those ideas and tried to replace it by forming others, that cycle kept us from actually doing the physical building and enough time, unlike the other group they sort of dove right in. Because of this we were having to last minute rush to get our prototype done. However I’m really proud how well we work under pressure, we are the type of people who are the perfectionist so our product of prototype is really cleaned and well put together unlike the others they didn’t do details. I believe the reason we include so much detail in our prototype is that this will be like our blue print and the more detail we include (not only for extra credits) its just helpful for us. The parts i don’t like might be the fact that were not done, but referring to the model itself nothing I’m really proud of the work we’ve done so far, especially how vortex prototype that happens to actually work, we are still debating whether we might include this as our actual sequence.
The most joyful part on creating a prototype is the actual idea making. Where your creative weird side of thinking can come to life and get to show your side of things. However, The most frustrating thing is acknowledging the other outcomes and the realistic problems we might occur but also the making sure that everything we plan seamlessly goes well together (especially with the music) but lastly, agreeing with your teammates.
That I’m very critical. I tend to really think about the outcomes and possibility, but negatively or positively critical not because I’m trying to be obnoxious but to somewhat guide them by giving critical feedback.
As a designer, Im very visual, i need to have things written down because the way i think flows in and so does the creatively and the ideas. Ive learned that the best way for me to understand is visually. Ive also noticed I’m good at laying out a plan to build although not so much the building, just more of the creating and fixing side of things.
That I highly relay on the visuals because i have a difficult way of perceiving information, and the best method i found is by using visuals. Same with most subjects in school i have a hard time getting things if there isn’t a visually projected because i cannot picture things words. For example: Math, Social, English. I also as a learner realised i work better with people rather than individual.
One thing I’ve noticed is that we as a group work better when we collaborate together. Not only is it a lot faster but 3 minds and 3 different perspectives can really make a huge difference. In Other ways, it’s a way for us to keep each other engaged and focused because even so having a long project, it’s easily that you get distracted because with less people it hard to stay on task if there isn’t someone in charge.
Compared to other groups since they have an advantage of one extra person differs from us but they do happen to do a lot more independent work. In my opinion if everyone was put together in a group, it makes sense to use each other and work together because its a group effort, however in ways that our group is similar to our other classmates is that, I’m guessing we all have different ideas and not everyone agree with them, because of this conflicts might happen.
One thing i’d might want to change this semester is my mindset and my patience because I’m that person who likes to get things done and gets things done fast when were only given a certain amount of time to do it i don’t like to wait but the thing is whenever i rush to get things done its not in the best work. I just need to acknowledge that taking your time isn’t that bad. I began to noticed towards the end when we were making our prototype, ours isincomplete, yes but compared to the other two groups our prototype is by far the most impressive or clean and thought out.
In order for me to achieve is to take time and sync with my teammates pace. Of course i don’t have to be patient all the time sometimes it good o speed up the process but if there time i should be aware and make sense to use make good use of the time. The support ill be getting is from my teammates because already that have told me to settle down so i believe automatically they will call me out. THIS IS OURVORTEX
In our STEAM class, we started a new project called the “OKgo Video” where we design a set of performance that uses a chain of reaction to create a continuous sequence that will go with our chosen music. We first strategically divided into two groups: the group that’s designing the prototype, and Leo, who independently worked on building the robot because we thought it will be the most time-consuming. We mainly used aluminum foils and cardboard to build our prototype. Finally, we labeled the prototype and drew arrows in order to show the path and orders of the sequence. Last class, we started crafting the actual parts of our sequence. So far, we finished making the seesaw(or catapult) and the basketball hoop.
In the past few weeks, our team brainstormed the ideas for our prototype by successfully collaborating with each other. We have used many resources while working on our prototype. One of them was the internet. We mainly used Youtube for inspirations and ideas when we were planning our sequence. To name some, OKgo music videos, Rube Goldberg Machine videos and few other highly motivating videos that we watched as a class helped us maximize our creativity. We also used different online sources to help us guide our planning. One that I have found the most helpful during the process of designing our prototype was, with no doubt, YouTube. Not only does this video platform have varying types of inspirational videos, but it also gave us the general idea of how our sequence should look like. I hope our team could further utilize these resources for our additional plannings and for the procedure of building our sequence later on. Although we used numerous resources to help us plan our prototype, most of the ideas for our sequence actually came from our original thoughts.
Materialistic resources that we used when we were designing our prototype were cardboard, aluminum foils, glue gun, tape, measuring tools, cutting tools, and etc.
So far, I am somewhat satisfied with what we’ve produced. The reason why I’m not 100% satisfied with our product is because I feel like there could’ve been more art elements in our project. From the beginning, we were aware that our team was rather strong in science and math field and we were not very confident in producing something aesthetic. I hope our team could overcome this challenge and hopefully succeed in making our sequence with more art elements in it.
In the process of working with our teammates, I found myself as a strong collaborator. Our project’s main objective is to produce well-planned out sequence by collaborating with fellow teammates. I think I successfully carried out our objective so far. Especially in the process of designing the prototype for the complex elements in our sequence, our team divided into roles and executed individual tasks or simply helped each other to finish the tasks faster. As a designer, I used my creativity to its fullest to brainstorm and design our sequence. It was a great experience sharing my ideas with my team members. While I was working with my team, I noticed that my style of working differed from my classmates’. I noticed that I tend to go straight to work rather than closely planning out the steps. I found this style of working quite beneficial especially in our group since some of my team members are way too carefully planning. So sometimes, it takes a lot of time to actually start crafting anything. I believe these two styles of working balanced each other out very well and consequently produced a perfect teamwork.
My goal for the rest of this semester is to continue work productively with my team and hopefully create something visually aesthetic. Syncing our sequence with the music is another goal we have as a team. My suggestion to my group was to use a classical music since most of them are not copyrighted, giving us a wider range of music to choose from. Individually, I will try my best to help my team and to ambitiously fulfill my duty no matter what task is given to me.
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.
While making our escape room we have only used resources to research relating all of our clues and making them relate to the mathamatic and scientific parts of team. Besides that no other resources were really needed, everything else we made with out any help from outside sources. As for helpfulness so far nothing has really been to helpful since we are really trying to push our minds as a group and generate as true originality as possible. As for the project as a whole, so far I feel that we have a strong idea of where we want to start and now we are working on how we will make all of our clues relate to all the main parts of steam. Personally I enjoy the freedom and the fact that there aren’t too many restrictions leaving us open to anything we want to do. We have the choice to choose how to make our room balanced yet challenging to all, but at the same time this will also be what makes the project much more frustrating then already. As for working with my group to produce the finally product, from this project I have noticed that as a collaborator I like to simplify others ideas, so for example if someone has a really complex idea that seems not only hard for the participant but for us to constantly retreat too I try to simplify it so that we can make it and it can be challenging for the participants. As a designer, when designing a look or theme I will put great thought or effort into a design that has the potential to submerge you. But for creating the clues part it was really a challenge to make them appealing because for me I like plain puzzles nothing special, I try to make them challenging but manageable, but #2 it takes me a longer time to make it creative and related to the subject or theme at hand. But think as a learner it shows that I am willing to always look and work for another way around obstacles, and making me leave my zone of you are not making/doing this for you and your pleasure. So in a sense to me at least I feel it forces me to be open-minded, which is something I definitely need to work on but I believe this project will be great for that exact reason. To continue on in explaining how I personally feel towards the creation process, I like to make my work mine clear straight forward and logical. So yes the challenges that I create I try to make as logical as possible as to the order things need to be done but still layer on multiple puzzles to come to the final goal. But working in my group I just can’t make things straight forward and step by step needing to work that way, because I need to add twists and turns to confuse the participants. So my group definitely helps me there because I personally need extra time to be creative as possible which is sometimes to me not possible(mainly just because I’m lazy and don’t want to layer on even more stuff to what has already been made). I do have to say though working with a group really pushes me to stand out so when I collaborate I try to pitch in some creative ideas to make it more of an immersion, which for the second time I mention that this is broadening my perspective and looking for other ways to accomplish the same task. Now getting into the nuts and bolts of this whole project I had a goal that I wanted to make it balanced yet challenging to all, but now that I think about it I want to be able to make it entertaining and get laughs out of it. I’ve had this change of thought because when we had participated in the escape room although I was bummed out we didn’t complete it, I had a great time collaborating and laughing with my friends. Now that I think about it overtime I have gone to an escape room I always walk away having had a great time trying to do something very challenging with my friends.
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).
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.
To get started, simply log in to check out all the other options available to you. For your first individual blog post, you’ll be doing a self-reflection on your work in designing your sequence/prototypes for our OKGo Project. Here are the questions you’ll need to think about when writing your post. Do not copy the questions, but rather let your reflection be more organic by turning the questions into sentence frames:
What process have you gone through to produce the work you’ve done so far? (Sentence frame sample: The process I’ve gone through to design the prototype/come up with ideas…)
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? (Sentence frame samples: I’ve used many resources while working on our design… Ones that I have found the most helpful have been… I’m thinking that I will continue to use…)
How do you feel about the work you’ve done so far? What parts of it do you particularly like? Dislike? Why?
What do you enjoy about designing a sequence/prototype to music? What have you found the most frustrating? What has helped you in overcoming the frustrations?
What have you learned about yourself as a collaborator?
What have you learned about yourself as a designer?
What do these things tell you about yourself as a learner?
In what ways doest the way you work differ from that of your classmates’ style? In what ways do you work differently? In what ways is your work process similar?
One thing I would like to get better at as we continue the process this semester is…
One goal that I would like to set myself for the rest of the semester is… How can you make sure you achieve it?
What support/help do you need to meet your goal?
Remember: Be as detailed as possible, use visuals/media to help show your process and reflection. Photos, images, videos, timelapses, Boomerangs (check your device PhotoStream); Flipgrid responses, etc; that you’ve gathered throughout the semester would be perfect. If you’d like to record your self-reflection as opposed to writing it and post the video, go for it! The due date for the reflection is Tuesday March 6.