We’ve teamed up with the Institute of Engineering and local design and architect firm Seesaw to create our inaugural pop up escape room. Students from Petchey Academy and local primary schools will have to solve the engineering based puzzles dreamed up by the Science team in order to escape the room designed by Dalston-based Seesaw.
At Petchey Academy we love organising projects which help to raise the profile of STEM across our school, and in this case engineering. The EEGS funding allows us to organise and deliver additional opportunities on top of our existing curriculum delivery, opportunities which are different and exciting and help to give our students an experience they will not forget.
The Engineering Escape Room will develop important life and career skills such as team building, cooperation, communication and leadership. An engineering career will often involve thinking of solutions and working with others, so we feel it is important to create this environment at school to develop those abilities. The project will work with children aged 10-15 in 6 schools in Hackney, including a school for deaf and hearing impaired children. The senior teachers at the Academy will be filmed attempting the challenge, with a highlights video made. This video will then be used to launch the Engineering Focus and to mark the Escape Room open.
The Escape Room will be run for 2 weeks allowing for 700 children to participate. During those 2 weeks it will be led by a variety of STEM partners including student engineers from UCL, LSBU and Bloomberg Programmers. We will also be fortunate to organise assemblies with Jaz Rabadia MBE, Senior Manager of Energy and Initiatives at Starbucks and STEM Abassador and Rachel Cooke, Regional Engineering Manager for Amazon and former Board member of IChemE, both ladies will also attempt the escape room with students. We also continue our partnership with Freewheel, (part of the Comcast company) an online digital medial company who will invite some students to their London office to participate in an engineering coding workshop with their staff.
The challenges covered in the Escape Room will include solving trigometry puzzles, building a circuit for a lamp, 3D tessalation puzzles, mirror drawing, building to transport an object, morse code and chemical colours. The specific engineering skills developed through these challenges include resilience, planning and spatial awaremess, architecture, optics, electrics and chemicals. The engineering pathways covered include civil engineering, electrical engineering, chemical engineering and mechanical engineering. The challenges will be interwoven with interview video clips from real life engineers in their workplace.
The Engineering Escape Room will be set up in a disguised classroom.
The costs of this project are mainly for equipment and resources to transform the classroom into an exciting and stimulating environment for children to engage in the various engineering career pathways available to them. Teacher and engineer time will be provided in kind. We will also organise an after school club in the Escape room for any students who wish to have more than one attempt at the challenges.
Our students are often the first person in their family to aspire to go to university so to provide them with real examples of the types of skills they will need later in their career, will support them to take that next step towards higher education. We will also invite parents to participate in the Escape Room. The long term aim of this project is to increase STEM subjects at A Level and undergraduate. In 2018, 22% of students left Petchey Academy to study STEM at universities and 17% of students chose Science subjects at A Level. Thanks to the continued support from the EEGS programme, we have seen a steady increase in these numbers over the past 2 years.