The Town of Terror was a Halloween festival at Albany High School, designed by the TechHive in collaboration with the Albany High School and Berkeley Engineers and Mentors, a hands-on engineering after school program. It's main attraction was a haunted house called "Escape from Dr. Ella Mental's Laboratory."
Albany High School
Albany High School sought an alternative to their annual homecoming dance, which had been poorly attended in previous years. They wanted a fun and inclusive experience that would attract more students and would raise more money for the school. Typical school events raise about $300 to $500.
TechHive designed, fabricated, and built a haunted house called “Escape from Dr. Ella Mental’s Lab” and organized a festival called the “Town of Terror” in collaboration with the Berkeley Engineers and Mentors (BEAM), Albany High School leadership team, and adult volunteers from the East Bay. AJ Almaguer, the lead designer, won a Bay Area Inspire Awards to help fund the project.
The project planning began in May 2014 and was completed in 5 months time. The haunted house included a “waiting room” with hands-on science training, a dark hallway with Arduino-enabled flying bats, LED lanterns, and a constructed laboratory exhibit with machines called‚ “Elixir Mixers” with user interfaces that were coded in Scratch. The project involved all aspects of public speaking, coding, writing, wiring electronics, carpentry, engineering design, assembly, and construction for the teens involved in delivering the project.
Approximately 800 people visited the Town of Terror, which raised $3500 for Albany High School. In addition, 100+ Albany High School students, 30 TechHive high school interns, and 30 UC Berkeley students also volunteered at the event, sharing their enthusiasm and ensuring its success and demonstrating the power of the community. The teen volunteers noted that this experience gave them a lot of valuable experience in project management.