This year the 3rd Annual Nolop Makerspace Haunted House took place virtually on Friday, October 30, 2020. The event was sponsored by the Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO), Nolop Makerspace, and the School of Engineering (SOE), and featured projects from first-year engineering students in Professor Ethan Danahy’s Simple Robotics class. While the Haunted House would normally take place inside the Nolop Makerspace, this year students each had their own spooky Zoom Rooms to scare anyone who dared to enter. The virtual edition of the Haunted House allowed for a much wider audience than in years past, as attendees could “join from anywhere in the world.”
In under two weeks, students used the SPIKE Prime robotics platform from LEGO Education as the base of their spooky machines, and added other materials and effects to enhance the scary ambiance surrounding it. Some exhibits featured a skeleton launching anything in its reach, while others highlighted spiders and ghosts dropping down from above at the sound of dark music or screams. A few students who are in the same residential cohorts chose to work together on their creations, making more extensive machines to scare community members. As guests hopped from room to room, robots were constantly equipped to show off their seasonal features.
Visitors, from Boston to Tasmania, were enthusiastically anticipating the Haunted House, and the virtual platform allowed for them to give immediate feedback to the students. At the end of the event, everyone sensed the feeling of Halloween, while also sensing the satisfaction of the students who created their spooky machines in such a short amount of time. For more information regarding the haunted house, visit: http://nolop.org/haunted-house/