By: Ula Bitinaitis - Sparta High School
The implementation of technology in classrooms, whether it be smartphones, tablets, computers or otherwise, is becoming more and more prevalent as these devices become more and more accessible. This begs the question; how can this technology be utilized in an academically beneficial way? “Escape the S.S. Duret”, a virtual reality STEM-based escape room, was designed to meet the aforementioned question. Withseven rooms and five STEM-based puzzles, the game was designed for 10 to 13-year-olds unfamiliar with STEM concepts. The game’s plot involves the player stuck in a spaceship; in order to escape, they must complete the seven rooms, many containing scientific puzzles, and retrieve the prizes from each room. The contents in these rooms ranges from binary numbers and caesar ciphers to simple logic and more. Once six rooms are complete, they head to the final room and insert all items into the console, escaping space. An app was designed to allow game participation outside the sole user who is in virtual reality; this way, all students can get involved and give advice. The game was created in the software Unity3D and coded in C#. The feedback received on the game’s current state is crucial to its future updates, and in the future, the project aims to have iOS integration for the app, multiplayer, and more rooms.
This research was conducted as a part of the Partners in Science Research Program. To read more, click here for a full pdf of Ula's formal research paper about her project!