Escape rooms have become very popular in the last few years. Even more recently, teachers have started using escape rooms as educational tools. The New York Times article linked below talks about a science-based escape room made by a physics professor from the University of Illinois, Paul Kwiat. It is one of few escape rooms based on real science. Before entering the room, the four team members were given a sheet of paper that had science information on it that they would have to use to escape. Kwiat did not want people to remember all of the information, but he wanted people to become more interested in science. Keeping students interested is a crucial part of teaching. It is important to help students learn, but let them have fun at the same time.
I have seen escape rooms used in high school classrooms and it really made the students more excited to learn and they were much more engaged than they ever were during regular classroom lectures. There are limitations in using escape rooms in classrooms, because of all the time needed to plan and perfect it, along with the classroom time that it would take up. However, I believe that it is extremely important to keep students interested in classes such as math and science that are usually considered hard and uninteresting. Using activities like escape rooms in classrooms is a good way to introduce or review topics. In the specific escape room talked about in the article, people were given a sheet with scientific information on it. In a classroom, teachers could give students formulas or key points from a lesson before it is taught so the students can have a hands-on learning experience and become more interested before the teacher’s lecture. It could also be used as a review for tests to keep students excited about learning when they are drained from all of the testing that they have to do. Overall, I believe escape rooms are a great educational tool and teachers should be using these and more hands on and engaging activities in their STEM classrooms to keep students excited about learning.
I have learned a lot throughout my first semester at The Ohio State University. Not only have I learned content in my classes, but I have learned a lot about myself. Ohio State has given me the opportunity to be in the classroom and work with children early on in my program. I joined two clubs that helped me achieve this, Adopt-A-School and STEM Outreach. Through Adopt-A-School I was able to be in a classroom for one hour every week. I went to Graham Elementary and Middle School and spent my time in a fifth grade science classroom. This opportunity helped me figure out that I really did want to become a teacher, but that I would like to work with older students. I learned a lot about how students react to certain situations. I also learned how to help students deal with problems that they faced during group work. Throughout the semester, I got a lot better at tutoring the students and making connections with them. STEM Outreach allows students at Ohio State to work with students of all age groups and is not always done in a classroom setting. I also packed the kits for STEM Outreach to take to use during their programs. This helped me learn about different science and engineering projects I could possibly use with my future students. It also helped me learn about project based learning. I enjoyed watching the students get excited about the project and what they were learning about. Overall, this semester has helped me figure out that I did choose the right major. I will get to teach a subject that I love to students grades 7-12 and I am very excited to spend more time in a classroom setting next semester.