One of the most exciting parts of creating a STEM Game Races event is designing and testing the STEM puzzles that make up our event! But you might be wondering how we come up with all of our puzzle ideas? Or maybe you’re curious about the STEM skills you’ll put into action during the game? Or maybe you’re wondering how we make the puzzles a great fit for everyone? We’ll spill all the details below…
So the first thing that happens when we create an event is thinking about what we want the end goal to be. This is called Backwards Design, and it’s an important part of teaching and learning, no matter the context! For our Space Escape event, we start with the end goal of the rocket launch. In order to gain access to the launchpad, it makes sense that teams will need to unlock the launch code. We brainstorm all sorts of fun puzzles - using a cipher to crack a secret code, analyzing patterns and searching for hidden messages, just to name a few.
The thing that makes this a great STEM activity for kids is that the puzzles use all different ways of thinking to solve it. This is where we see #teamworkmakesthedreamwork in action because it takes a lot of brain power to test out all your different theories! Here’s an example from our 60min mission. How quickly can you figure out the hidden message? Grab a friend and try!
This puzzle is just one of many different types of STEM puzzles you’ll see while on the Space Escape mission. Each event is a combination of puzzles that require you to think critically and creatively to figure out how to solve it. Check out this example below to put your knowledge of the attributes of shapes, plus your spatial awareness skills to the test to figure out the total number triangles in the support structure.
So how do we make sure that the puzzles are the right fit for everyone? That’s where the magic happens behind the scenes. Each of the puzzles in all of our STEM Game Races events come in three different levels. We customize each STEM activity in the box to be the exact right level of challenge for each . What makes our event so special is that our gamemasters are right there with you while you’re playing - encouraging teams to work hard, giving shoutouts for awesome teamwork skills and providing just the right level of support to make sure that everyone is able to be successful.
Creating new puzzles is one of the best parts of our job - the only thing better is when we get to see kids solving them in action! If you haven’t had a chance to see some of our previous events, check them out here and here. Looking for a way to get in on the fun? Check out our Upcoming Events page and subscribe to our newsletter so you’ll be the first to know!