When it comes to planning STEM activities for large groups, we’ve got a couple of tricks up our sleeves. If you didn’t know, STEM Game Races is the kid-focused sister company of Escape Room Races, our corporate events offering. Adults would tell us all the time that their kids would love to get in on the escape room action, so we asked ourselves, “Why should adults get to have all the fun?!” And we didn’t stop there - we knew there was something extra we could add to the kids event to really make an absolute blast. Solving puzzles and figuring out secret codes and breaking into locks is amazing - but if the story is about an alien who is stranded on earth, wouldn’t it be cool if we could actually launch to his home planet?!
Each STEM Game Races event is broken into three phases, beginning with puzzle solving. Once teams break into the final box, they discover the Launchcode and gain access to the Launchpad portion of the event space. Our launchpad cna be set up anywhere - a hallway or side of a room works great, and we have even launched outside before!
When teams enter the launchpad area, they are each given a rocket, a bottle and a whole bunch of materials to construct their rockets. This is where creative thinking and problem solving skills really shine! Of course there is not just one way to build a rocket, in fact we see new designs and models at every event! Some teams will opt for the longest possible launcher, while others will think more about the stability of their launcher and build a system that can rest on the ground. We have teams that squeeze the bottle with their hands, while others find the extra power that comes with stomping the bottle to be best.
The goal is to be the first team to hit the target - so while it’s important to try different designs, it’s also important to work together efficiently. That means clearly sharing ideas with your teammates and noticing what adjustments to make as you test out different designs.
The one thing that stays the same no matter what? The excitement, high-fives and shouts of “YES!” that erupts as a team achieves their goal.
Finding STEM activities for large groups can be a challenge, but we’ve cracked the code. From preschoolers to parents, there’s nothing more fun than launching a rocket! Want to see more STEM Game Races events in action? Check out a recent birthday party, STEM takeover and art studio collaboration here!