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.

Kevin’s Final Reflection

Describe your planning process

Our initial blueprint of our room was simple to map out, but difficult to execute. Our rudimentary idea of the escape room was something comprehensive. To elaborate, most escape rooms feature clues that lead to another clue when solved. To these rooms, escaping the room was a step-by-step endeavor, and the direction of progression was very limited. While that was one way to make an escape room, we decided to take a more unconventional approach. We designed our room to be multifaceted and comprehensive, where every puzzle is available to be attempted from the start, and each one will unlock a puzzle piece that will all come together in the end, allowing the player to escape. It seemed definitely possible on paper, but we needed to devote a lot of our time into making the idea into reality.

Detail your clues and what they mean to do

We had prepared 4 clues in total, 3 of them providing access to puzzle pieces that must be assembled for our final puzzle. The puzzle pieces were prisms and mirrors, with each of the three puzzles unlocking one of them. In our final puzzle, the player needed to place the prisms and mirrors according to a diagram marked on the table, then shine a laser beam through them. The laser would reflect and refract off the prisms and mirrors, and point to the right key that would lead the way out. The right key was hooked up to a wall, hidden among 20 other decoy keys, with the player not knowing which of the 21 keys was the one that let them escape. The will have to collect all of the prisms and mirrors, set them up and use the laser to locate the answer. Of course, there have been many people who would just try one by one, making it troublesome for us to keep everything in order. Our final lock was something to note as well, as it was made by ourselves. The structure of the door made it very tricky for us to install locks, but we managed to create a clever mechanism using tape, rope and the lock.

Our first puzzle that would unlock one of three final items took a motif from the poker card soldiers from the Queen of heart’s garden. The player had to arrange the cards on a table, and once properly coordinated, the markings on individual cards will come together to spell a password. The password unlocked a box that leads to a mirror. The instructions on what way to configure the cards were provided in slips of paper scattered around the room. Although the players did not have a hard time finding these slips of hints, they did have quite the trouble putting them together and interpreting what they meant.

Our next puzzle was inspired by domino toys. A grid of dominos was provided on a table, and a keynote animation was projected in the opposite walls. The keen player would notice that some squares were blank on the domino grid and that the keynote projection would reveal a grid of numbers of a brief moment. The point was to notice the blank spaces on the domino grid, and the number chart on the keynote at the same time, and realize that the two were directly correlated. Players had to match the corresponding numbers on the grid to the blank spaces to get the password and unlock a mirror. This might have been moderately frustrating, as not many people would think to examine at the keynote, and even if they did, the number chart only showed itself for 8 seconds every half a minute or so.

Our last puzzle was about the Queen of Heart’s croquet field. Players had to arrange croquet hoops according to a diagram on the floor, along with a paper tube sustained on paper cups. Pieces of cellophane were stuck through the hoops, and unidentifiable markings were written on the cellophane. The markings might have seemed indecipherable at first, but once the hoops and the tube are arranged on the floor, the player would most definitely see a connection. To unlock a prism, the player needs to look through the tube, and it will reveal a password which is spelled when all of the cellophane is parallel and overlapped and is precisely distanced. One notable feature of this puzzle was that we incorporated 3D printing in the physical building of it. To enable the croquet hoop to stand balanced, we need to make stands. We used a program called tinkered to digitally create a layout for the stand and printed it out.

Describe the challenges that you faced.

As expected, we faced a plethora of problems during the process. One of them was acquiring materials. Many of our materials were quite tricky to acquire, such as small keys, croquet hoops or laser pointers. Most of the crucial materials were gathered at the last minute, quite frankly. Another challenge was the Art section of STEAM. When we were too focused on making puzzles, we let art slip completely from our minds. However, we managed to put in quite the clutch effort into our aesthetics, and we turned out to look quite great.

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 Final Assessment (the journey) Hannah Collin

Our process took over the whole semester 1, from the beginning of August when we started discovering what escape rooms were to November when we started designing our own escape rooms. When we were given our groups and started to plan and design our escape rooms, we split the tasks between the members in our groups evenly. My group consisted of four people, Kevin, Jennifer, Steve and myself so we decided to have 4 main tasks in our escape room. We brainstormed ideas and made sure each one of us had a specific role to work on in creating our escape room.

Kevins part were the croquets – he placed the 3 croquets on the floor so that when you look through them from a specific angle you will see a 3 digit code. With that 3 digit code you can unlock the box and get one out of the three prisms.

Steves part were the dominos – with his you were given a sheet of paper on the table, and with that sheet you had to match the dominos with the dominos slide that was projecting on the wall from a Keynote. On the sheet of paper 3 dominos were missing. When the slideshow projected the slide of the dominos you had to quickly match the sheet with the slide so that you could see what were the missing numbers. When you figured out the 3 missing numbers you could put them into the lock to unlock the second box with the second prism inside.

My part of the escape room were the cards. I made a riddle that I had printed out and stuck on the table next to the scattered cards. With the riddle, the participants should have understood that they had to put the cards in a specific order. After participants have put the cards in the specific order, they would see a 5 digit code. When they plug that code into the third box they will receive the last and final prism.

Finally,  Jennifers part was the key wall. Her section of the room was the final section. When the participants had collected all 3 prisms from unlocking the 3 boxes they would place them on the table with the outline of the prisms already placed. Once they aligned the prisms correctly they would press on the laser that was also taped onto the table. The beam from the laser would reflect of each of the prisms and shine directly onto one specific key on the key wall. With that key they could go to the door and unlock the final lock to escape our room!

Our biggest challenge was making sure the placement of the prisms were perfectly aligned. We noticed that even a millimeter would effect the position of the beam of light which would cause the light to not shine on the correct key. Another problem were the locks. In the beginning they did not work as well as we had hoped, however by the time of the Open day they were all working well.

We really enjoyed creating our escape room and were very happy with the outcome.

STEAM Final Reflection

Our planning took over the whole semester; after the visit of Mr.X(escape room in ShenZhen) and few mini projects of STEAM, starting November, our group researched about basic idea of an escape room. This included ‘follow’ and ’like’ on Instagram post that featured escape room idea, searching escape room homepage all around the world, comment and ’like’ on Youtube video of people solving problems in different themes/type/level escape room. After all these research, we focused on the idea “how do we incorporate each aspect of STEAM to our clues?”.

Deigning an escape room was more complicated than we imagined. It required lot of critical thinking, and numerous ideas that needed to be linked together. We also had to consider our ideas in different perspectives so others can understood perfectly. This was something frustrating. We had bunch of ideas—that were all unique—but there were no ways to put all together. So we took this problem differently: instead of everyone adding and eliminating their ideas with others, everyone come up with a idea that is an aspect of STEAM. (For example, A has to create or modify his/her idea to Science while B has to create or modify his/her clue to Technology) It worked well.

Our group, Kevin Hannah Steve and me, each with unique and focused on different aspects. The main objective was each lock (three) opened the box with the prisms. Once all 3 prisms are collected, you place them on the table with the outline of the prisms already placed. Once they aligned the prisms correctly they would press the laser on the table and a light will be shown through them and shine the correct key on the wall in order to escape the room. Every one designed different lock, except I designed the last step which is designing places where 3 prisms go and the door lock. Steve idea consist of dominos: you were given a sheet of paper on the table and with that sheet you had to match the dominos with the dominos life that’s projecting on the wall from a keynote. Kevin’s part was croquet: he placed the 3 croquets so that when you look through them from a certain angle, you will see a 3 digit number, which you use that code to unlock the box and get one out of three prism. Hannah’s was you organise the deck of cards in a particular order, once you placed them correctly, a 5 digit number appear and you enter that number to the lock to find the last prism.

One of the biggest challenge we faced was that our final step, which is to collect all prisms and place them in the order which the laser light will direct to a certain key to unlock the door, did not work. It was a big threat since it was two day before the final showcase. We watched tutorials and asked “experts” and tried different methods to know what was the problem. Then we noticed that even a millimetre would effect the angle of the light and will not work. By end of the day, however, we did sort out the problem and it wen well during the exhibition.

STEAM Final Reflection- Catherine

When creating our escape room, we drew out a large basic plan of what we intended for our room to look like before finally narrowing it down and making our clues more specific. Once we had created the basic ideas for our clues, we plotted them out on large pieces of paper. During this process, aside from planning the clues, we plotted out the decor as well. We tried our best to incorporate all the aspects of STEAM into our clues with some clues focusing on a specific aspect more than others.

Our first clue was our most difficult clue in terms of executing. The set up was fairly simple, however the idea was a bit complicated. We needed to incorporate science into one of our clues, so we decided to create a clue involving the density of different liquids to fit the theme of an Alice in Wonderland tea party. Our clue was meant to be solved by counting the tea leaves inside of the various teacups. The teacups were colour coded (red, blue, and yellow) the idea was that the participants would add the red tea leaves together and so on to obtain the numbers that would open our cardboard safe. The order of the numbers would be determined by the order of liquids (and their colours) in the glass pitcher, this was our science aspect. Once the cardboard safe opened, the participants would obtain a key that opened the bathroom. In the bathroom they would find our second and final clues. Our second clue was in a way mainly focused on incorporating math. For our second clue we wrote a series of numbers on the mirror. Some were written with permanent marker others in whiteboard marker. To solve the clue and get the numbers that would open a safe with the key to the final clue, the participants were supposed to wipe the mirror with an eraser. That way all the numbers written with whiteboard marker would be gone. They were then supposed to overlap the remaining three numbers to solve one number, for example the numbers 707 would equal 0. The ‘math’ was supposed to be the misleading part of the clue where participants could potentially try to add numbers together for the answer. After figuring out the second clue, the participants would use the key to open the paper towel box. Inside the box they would find an iPad set to garageband. The objective was for them to match a note on the piano keyboard to its frequency in the printed chart we gave them. The correct frequency was 3 numbers, these three numbers would open a lock that gave them the card to open our magnetic lock and enter the final room.

We faced quite a few challenges when creating our escape room. We had to make sure our clues were challenging enough, but not too challenging to the point that the participants would just give up on it. But, our biggest challenge were not with the clues themselves were the construction and assembling of the locks. We had to remake our cardboard safe multiple times simply because it just wouldn’t function properly. Our cardboard safe was originally supposed to go on the bathroom door, however after completing it we found that it was too big and would jam the door, thus we had to build another extra lock to put on the door frame. This cardboard safe took us multiple classes to complete and was really just our hardest challenge. Aside from the cardboard safe, the magnetic lock attached to the door also proved to be extremely difficult to assemble. Even with an instruction manual, it was hard to assemble and we found difficulties in making sure it was sturdy. Another challenge was the time limit. It was hard to create something of quality and on such a large scale within a semester. We really wanted to create a room complete with decorations that not only fit our theme but were visually appealing as well. Of course, making sure all the clues worked properly and were completed was a challenge as well.

Final Reflection(Ben Hugh)

Before coming up with any clues for our escape room, our group first scanned through the room to see where we should put the locks and clues. We were clueless at the beginning, but as we started to scan, we realized that there were a lot of things in the room that we could utilize. After choosing whee to set up our locks and clues, we drew out our room on a piece of paper and labeled all our clues.

When the planning was done we started building the materials we needed. The first object we built was a combination lock to use for our first clue. We were able to find a tutorial video on youtube; it seemed pretty easy in the beginning but it took us a month to complete it because every time there was a certain part of the lock that didn’t function correctly. This was probably one of the biggest challenge we faced since it was taking way longer to build than expected. But after a month we were finally able to complete it.

Our original plan was to stick this lock on the bathroom door handle in order for the people to unlock it to go into the bathroom, however, we found out that the lock was too big, so we had to change our plan to create a smaller box to cover the handle box. To adjust to this we had to lock the smaller box with a key and lock the key in the combination lock we created.








The second thing we assembled was a magnetic lock that we ordered off Taobao. The magnetic lock was a DIY kit so we had to connect all the wires and stick it on the door. The instructions were pretty straightforward, so there weren’t much challenge, except the times when the wire was unstable so we had to keep on reconnecting it.

Now I will explain how our clues worked.

  1. The very first clue in our room was for people to look at a beaker that had three layers of liquid and looking for the matching color tea cup plate, then adding all the tealeaves in the teacups by the matching color.
  2. When they added up all the numbers and figured out the numbers, people would look at the order the liquid is layered in and use the same order to unlock the combination lock.
  3. There is a key placed in the lock, and people would use it to unlock the bathroom door.
  4. As people enter the bathroom there will be numbers written on the mirror. Numbers are written in a board marker and a permanent marker, so people had to use a board eraser and overlap the numbers written with the permanent marker to find out a four digit password.
  5. This four digit passcode is used to open a lock and a key is provided to open a tissue box attached to the wall.
  6. In this box there is a Ipad with a piano keyboard and a recording of a certain note. People have to listen the recording and play the note on the keyboard, and look at the piano frequency chart provided to find out what the frequency of that note is, which is used as a passcode for the key of the final door.

Digital Lock Reflection: Ben, Catherine, Heeju.

Currently, our group is working on building a magnetic lock. Last class was our first time taking a look at our magnetic lock, so we didn’t have enough tools to make an exact conclusion on how we are going to set up our lock. To continue to experiment the best location for the lock, we will need our styrofoam platform ready, and also screwdrivers to open the lock and connect wires. As said previously we need a tool box and the styrofoam to continue our process of building. And when all the materials are ready we will have to do some experiments to make sure our lock would stay in spot.
So currently we have two different plans on where to set up the lock. One is on the top of the door and one is on the bottom of the door. we will try both of the plans, but I think there is a higher possibility for us to stick with the building it on the bottom plan, since sticking the lock on the bottom would be more stable than sticking it all the way up at the door. Also, if the lock goes on the top of the door, there might be a possibility of it falling off and hitting someone’s head, and we don’t wan’t any of our escapers to get injured.
There are several major challenges for us to build this lock. First, our door is slightly tilted so it isn’t aligned with the wall. To attach our lock to the door we have to cut the styrofoam into the shape of the gap between the door and the wall to align the two pieces of the lock together. Secondly, we need a plug to power our lock, however the closest plug is around 5 meters away from the lock so we need a extension chord and also find out a way to hide it. Lastly, since this lock is a DIY lock we have to figure out how to connect all the wires together for the lock to work.

Possible locations for the lock.

Steam Reflection 2

Reflect and answer these questions:

  • What tools are you using to measure, create & design?

We are using the ruler,  cardboard, laptop, and pencil.

  • How are you making sure that your plan will work?

We did a rough draft before we design our room. The first step to make sure our plan would work was drawing the blueprint of our room, and we did a flipgrid reflection after we made the blueprint.

  • What challenges do you see in the process of your planning?

Making locks, designing the room, and clues.

  • What support/material might you need to be successful?

Heart and fund.

  • Track your progress
    • Take photos of your work and post them on the blog – make sure you caption and label so your audience will know what you’re looking at
    • Record video that might help you explain your process
  • Attach any support resources (embed YouTube videos, add hyperlinks, etc)
  • Plan your next steps
    • What do the next 8 classes look like? Make a calendar!

Next 8 classes we will finish making our physical clue, design, and the locks.

Digital Lock Reflection: Janika, Lotta, Taughfeek

STEAM reflectiokn-234ho8i

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