“CSI: The brain collector serial killer case” is an Educational Escape Room (EER) activity with a focus on learning about human’s nervous system designed and implemented by 16-year old high school students from “Ekpaideutiki Anagennisi” in Afidnes, Greece on 19th of March 2019. But …. what is an EER?
What exactly is an Educational Escape Room?
Escape rooms are live action, team-based games where players discover clues, solve puzzles, and accomplish tasks in one or more rooms in order to accomplish a specific goal (usually escaping from the room) in a limited amount of time. Over the last year, there’s been worldwide growth in creating and introducing into the classrooms Educational Escape Room activities (EERs), facilitated by educators that have adapted the initial concept to fit the needs of their students.
What makes these activities special compared to other examples of gamification in education that have been studied in the past regarding their educational impact on the learners, is the fact that they can provide a thrilling, immersive learning experience that can intrigue students’ minds and assist them to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The incorporated collaborative elements of these activities and the limited time frame that students have at their disposal promote the development of their social and team-working skills that are necessary for them in order to succeed.
In the last decade, there have been intense efforts to integrate STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) at all levels of formal education. The goal of this effort is to make teachers adopt modern pedagogical methods in the teaching process of Science and the cross-thematic approach which helps students to develop their skills. In particular, through New Technologies, one of the objectives is to introduce computational thinking into education as a “basic skill” to be acquired by all and not just by those involved in Computer Science. Besides “Reading, writing, numeracy, our goal must be to add computational thinking to each child’s analytical capability … as it is directly linked to the problem solving ability and the understanding of human behavior “(Wing, 2006: 33).
Based on this data, Vasileia and Ralia (Scientix ambassadors) decided to implement a 2-hour workshop for primary school teachers. This 2h interactive workshop took place during “Athens Science Festival 2019”, on Friday 5th April 2019. Primary school teachers, beginners but willing to introduce coding to their students, using resources from the Scientix Portal and other platforms, were invited. As the event was held during a Science Festival many adults and children dropped over to take a look. They were also informed about STEM discovery Week, the Scientix portal and the teaching resources it provides and about plugged and unplugged coding activities.
The “Junior STEM Festival” took place on the ground floor of the Lesvos Chamber on Saturday, March 16, 2019 (Arduino Day 2019) at 11 am and it was a great success as it was attended by many students, parents and teachers.
STEM is an approach to education designed to teach mathematics and science and is vital to a basic understanding of the universe. STEM can be described as a new “post-scientific branch”.
The event was an initiative of the Directorate of Secondary Education in Lesvos and the EKFE Lesvou (Laboratory Center of Natural Sciences), organized by the Association of Greek Physicists and the Environmental Education Center of Evergetoula.