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UC Berkeley finds the key to making virtual orientations fun. 🔑

At the UC Berkeley MEng program, building connections is at the center of engineering leadership. Here’s how ohyay fostered team building through interactive custom escape rooms.

Written by 
Aletta Hiemstra

How do you make a virtual orientation both fun and informative? Hint: campus-themed escape rooms.

The Master of Engineering (MEng) program at UC Berkeley set out to design an escape room experience on ohyay that would familiarize over 160 incoming MEng students with various MEng and UC Berkeley campus resources, from student portals to key cards.

“It was important for us to develop a team building activity that would empower our incoming MEng cohort to build community and get to know their peers,” said Claire Trias, Student Affairs Advisor at Berkeley. 
A variety of escape rooms challenged students to explore campus resources.
Students worked together on a cipher that revealed where to find replacement laptops on campus.
Scanning a key card to activate the next challenge.

For the escape room activity, students were paired into small groups at random to solve various challenges, such as scheduling an appointment with Student Affairs. “This gave students an opportunity to get to know fellow students in a unique way, while allowing them to form new friendships and teaching them the value of teamwork and collaboration,” said Claire.

Groups of students compared how long it took for them to complete the challenges.

The social hour session, which followed the escape room activity, allowed for students to share what they were most looking forward to about the semester and exchange contact information.

Bonding over custom icebreaker questions.
"It was a no-brainer for us to use ohyay for our orientation because of past successful experiences with its custom interface, unique puzzles, and interactive rooms," said Claire. "We can't wait to build our next event." 

Explore the UC Berkeley escape room experience

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Aletta Hiemstra

Community & Communications at ohyay