First Escape Room

So here goes……….

There on the table is a large handbag/working bag, it appears to have a lot of combination locks on the bag. There is a file and a locked folder. The folder is locked with a 3 digit combination lock.

File- Titled “The Case of the LASER”

In the file are the following documents

In the Unlocked Part of the Bag

In the bag is a lanyard (see below) with an ID work badge, a mirror and a James Herbert Book- The Fog.

A compact mirror is in the bag
This is in the bag, the only part not locked up.

Can you solve the clues to get into the folder?

Signature
05/02/20

09/02/20

Well done to Dr Allan! He’s into the folder.

This is what the folder contains, although not everything can be used yet.

You’ll need to start by answering these questions.

The grid key and grid secret should allow you to finish the last puzzle.

You might find these documents can give you some hints

You’ll need to work out the key to the cipher, but you haven’t collected this yet.

This might make contact but not until you have a cipher disk and I’ve locked that away. If you’ve answered the end of the first puzzle you’ll be able to get into the bag

You’ll need these maps for later. They will help you to locate me.

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Can you open the next lock using this lot, don’t throw the rest away, you’ll need it for later?

Signature
09/02/20

Well done to Dr Allan! He’s into the bag, but I can’t keep up so he’ll have to wait for the next clues. He’s been so helpful showing where I need to add more hints, or explanations. Thanks- you truly are a PRO!

Building an Escape Room

This is the end of a long process to make an Escape Room for Revision in my Classes. It is my first one so you can tell that it will be full of flaws, but I think there is something here that you can adapt and make it your own with very little need to adjust much. I’ll try to put the editable files in another post. In this post you can play along and try to solve the case. Do let me know how you get on.

Well in 2017 in Debrecan Hungary, at the Science on Stage Conference for Science Teachers I first encountered ESCAPE ROOMS in the classroom. Since then I’ve wanted to make one and went about it totally the wrong way, buying boxes and locks without any idea of what I would do.

I was fortunate enough to go to Cascais Portugal for the 2019 Science on Stage Conference and went to an Escape Room workshop, so that was it. I’ve now got to prove it can be done. I think however I might have gone over the top. It has taken me hundreds of hours of thinking and doing and I daren’t add up what I’ve spent, although most things wont be used, so my warning if you get hooked, plan and execute in draft and then pay!

I’ve moved the clues to another post on Escape Rooms and here I’ll discuss what I did and all the things I did wrong!…..

Site Stats

I was asked on Friday by the students if anyone visited this website and were shocked that I said they were. I think it is a matter of them not realising that not every teacher has a site they can log into, or maybe they do.

So I’ve just cut the monthly stats from each part and if you tot all those up you can see who is visiting. I love the stats as there is so much really interesting information that can be taken. I am sure you can spot when the D&G Space School happened and when the exams are on (although that is more obvious from the daily stats)

I am sure compared to most websites the numbers are tiny, but it does make me feel less like I am just doing this to amuse myself and more for helping students and teachers studying Physics, especially in Scotland.

Happy visiting! Do drop in a comment if you visit so I don’t feel like I am talking to myself (actually than can be what it is like in the classroom at the moment!

AH creeping up to 1000 hits per month
N5 between 3000 and 4000 hits per month, except in the summer!
N4- looks like I need to spend more time here!
spot when I was posting about Space School!
This section depends on the homework I set
Higher- follow the cycle of the Higher course, from when it ends to when exams are on nudging 2500 hits per month
Spot when I do a Road Safety Event
I’m not sure what people are doing on here, unless it is to visit the SG Papers, which BTW are being used so much in N5 questions.

Most of the visitors here appear to be arguing about whether it is metres squared or square metres, but the NPL have given me the definitive answer so that might stop the arguments.

I can’t compete with the great sites out there by people who know about websites, but at least it makes me feel like the money I spend on this, which obviously comes out of my own pocket isn’t quite as self indulgent. Would I take sponsorship? Well I like the ability to do things my way, but sometimes it is annoying how much teachers spend of their own money providing things that other companies would put down to expenses.

Signature
January 2020

At the Canal Foot

All set for the best view of the tide running in Morecombe Bay- and I missed it by 1 minute

One of the best views in the country has been in the Mr Physics family since July 15th 1976. It’s a gem of a place and one that has very happy memories. It is where Mr and Mrs Physics spent their wedding night, so it was with mixed feelings that on second of January 2020 it was sold and no longer in the family.

As the new owners were bringing in their furniture (a day earlier than the expected exchange date) we moved out. I decided to let the last view of the tide running be in extreme comfort and left the 3 piece suite on the terrace. Yet, despite setting clocks and watches and alarms, Mrs Physics missed the tide running by about a minute, meaning the main bore was away or behind the big conifer before I got my best seat in the house- well strictly speaking outside the house. It was only a 7 metre tide so wimpy at the best of times. At least I got one last sunrise and that was pretty beautiful.

Is this Sod’s Law or one of the others.

I hope the new owners enjoy the place as much as we have and make many memories.

Time to concentrate on boating which has been on the back burner for a couple of years.

Please don’t tell MIL her house has sold she’ll be devasted and it makes me feel cruel that we’ve done it, but we couldn’t keep it on and it was beginning to suffer. A new lease of life is needed.

It was sold for a bargain, so I hope the owners appreciate it even more.

New Baby Physics

We have a new baby in the family. It is adopted so looks nothing like its Granny but it is rather lovely. It is a Celestial or Pacific Parrotlet. It is only recently that I’ve heard of this type of bird and I must say, even in 24 hours I’ve been impressed with her big heart and fiesty nature, although she’s taken up most of the day and today (04/01/2020) we finally celebrated Christmas, although all the turkeys were gone, so a chicken had to suffice.

The little angel hasn’t got a name yet, but I know Piglet, when he thinks of one, will choose the best and most apt name going.

Nameless: eating well, pooing lots, thwicking,
Grab first, eat and digest after.

More updates as they come, especially the name.

#SonS2019

It is a real privilege to be attending the biennial Science on Stage Event in Cascais, Portugal.

There are 450 Science Teachers from around Europe, and further afield all with amazing ideas, projects and ways of teaching their students.

Setting up the Project stands.
About 1/3 of the exhibits

https://www.science-on-stage.eu/

Representing Lockerbie Academy, Scotland and Escola Secundaria Maria Lamas, Portugal we have Hear Today – Gone Tomorrow.
Sebastian Funk is a great master of ceremonies.

After the set up of all the stands…….

End of an Epoch

21st September marks Catherine Wilson’s birthday but also an end to the IoP network coordinators as we’ve known it. To celebrate the people who instigated and ran the network and started the fantastic Physics forum met together for a find farewell and catch up. I was honoured to be invited but felt like a gate crasher! The people round the table had all provided advise, help, role models and support through my long career. Each person’s skill set was distinct and eclectic and they are mainly responsible for the positive shape of Scottish physics education.

The amazing movers and shakers of Physics education, and me!

Worms Move in

Well, Wednesday 4th September one group in the Climate Catastrophe Group built their wormery. We are going to look into recycling of food and break down of fruit and vegetables. Worms do create greenhouse gases, but play an important part in maintaining the soil, which has taken a hammering over the last 60 years.

Unfortunately the worms arrived late on Thursday 5th September and had to be in the wormery before the weekend. The students hadn’t quite finished the wormery, so many came up during their lunch break and helped get the worms a temporary start. Our biggest concern is the amount of moisture that we need. The wormery isn’t a draining one, so getting the air and moisture levels is important. We also had to put all the worms in the one box as the second box wasn’t ready.

Let’s hope the worms make it through the weekend. The suspense is terrible and the temperature this weekend was pretty warm, the first dry weekend in four weeks- drat.

Signature


What’s in the Police Van?

1st September 2019 and it is the canal festival, which started as Cops on the Canal. It was potentially our 8th visit, but we missed a few, especially last year as we were trapped at the Kelpies. The Police part of the festival is really growing and this year I took some photos in the vans and photos of the speed cameras, now working with laser pulses.

Thanks to all the Police who shared information and their experiences, although I am not sure giving out certificates for the kids saying “I outran the Police” is sending the right image to all those potential criminals!

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Boating bother

April 2019

After giving up the SQA Examining duties to go boating it was a bit sad last year to hear that Twechar and Bonnybridge bridges were closed, but even worse to hear that Lock 6 on the Forth and Clyde canal was rammed by some hirers. This has trapped us at the Kelpies for a year!

Mostly Harmless’ Home for the Last Year, see the motorway in the back garden and you can’t smell the sewage works in this photo but it is there!

Stopping over by the Kelpies isn’t anywhere near as peaceful as most places on the Forth and Clyde canal as the motorway traffic never stops so it sounds like you’re on a mattress in the middle of a busy street.

On top of this in February someone decided to see what they could help themselves too. Obviously the name “Mostly Harmless” suggested they wouldn’t find any difficulty if they entered uninvited.

The well deck is ready for a spring clean, but the doors will need to be replaced after someone came in uninvited

But after a busy and hectic few terms, and some difficulties this year then it’s time to get back to the boat to escape the pressures of life.

First cosy fire of the year and well relaxed after an hour

So during our first trip up of the year we went to look at the progress of Lock 6 to see when we are likely to get home. The lock gates are in and the estimated opening date is 6th May, hopefully we can be the first through over the May Day bank holiday. Just before Lock 6 though we took this photo. Someone has obviously been using the canal as a dumping ground for their old tyres. It was the strip of land only between this open yard. There must have been 50 or so tyres dumped in there. Well I hope now they’ve been found out as the canal has been drained that they’ll get in there and remove them rather than leaving it to the boaters and their licence fee. It would only take one of those tyres on the prop to cause extensive and costly damage.

Name and shame, someone’s been using the canal as a dumping ground. I hope now they’ve been caught as the canal is drained they will take some responsibility and clear up their mess.
One of those tyres on the prop will cause a huge amount of expensive damage.

So hopefully we can go back and spring clean the boat this weekend and get it ready for a trip along the canal and home! 2019 should be the year of boating and enjoying the canal.