Trade show allows UCSI students to plan their great escape
Trade show allows UCSI students to plan their great escape
Posted on 01/15/2019
Investor evaluating projectThere is no escaping the importance of working together, as demonstrated by a recent student trade show held by the Utica Center for Science and Industry.

UCSI teachers challenged their students from its three pathways – mechatronics, multi-media and engineering – to collaborate by designing an “escape room” based on British literature. 

 “The biggest thing we wanted is for them to work together,” said teacher Scott Spry. “The kids will come to us and say don’t really understand what students in other areas were doing. We say to them, you are going to be working with people like that outside of here so you better get used to it.” 

The 17 projects were created by students over a two-week period and drew on their lessons in English, Math, multimedia and engineering, said teacher Andrea Luba. Using British literature as a basis, the students worked together to escape a series of tests that use technology and programming to get through an escape room. 

“We want them to collaborate and create a product that functions,” she said. 

It was a theme that recurred throughout the trade show.

UCSI Graduate Josh Rzeppa – who attended the trade show - acknowledged that experience in working collaboratively will set UCSI students apart when they move onto to college.

“Most of the stuff we do at college is easy because of the work we did here over the four years,” he said. “It’s about how to work as a team and how you can put everyone in the best position to succeed.”

One group of UCSI students used A Christmas Carol to create three separate “rooms” that customers would use clues to escape. The rooms represent the spirits of Christmas past, Christmas present and Christmas Future.

A group of parents, business leaders and graduates visited each of the projects at the trade show to serve possible “investors.” 

“The people would come in an want to learn about your work to see if they want to invest in your project,” said junior Anjelica McLean. “This way we are getting real business experience.”