The Fish Creek Story

There is so much to love about my job, but one thing I desire more of is prolonged engagement at schools. That’s why it was such a privilege to come back to Fish Creek School for a second year.

Last year’s grade 5s had had a chance to do the Grade 6 escape room. So, this year, when it was their turn to create an escape room, the excitement and expectation was already there. Some students even commented that - out of the entire year - they were most looking forward to this residency!

When the Mobile Escape team hit the ground on Monday, the students were off to the races, solving escape rooms and brainstorming ideas for their own themes: outer space and flight. We also benefitted from the incredible teachers at Fish Creek School who believe in what we’re doing, as well as in their own students. It made the week that much more enjoyable!

The students then spent almost an entire day blueprinting and working through the design process. Plans were made, adjusted, scrapped, advanced, improved and selected. This prepped everyone for 2 incredibly productive “build days” where the students created their respective escape rooms.

Friday was test, refine and showcase day, where Grade 2s, 3s, 5s and staff tried the rooms prior to an afternoon of having parents, siblings, friends and family try the rooms. What a blast!

There were a few highlights for me, but the thought that summarizes them all is this: every student succeeded. For those who traditionally do well in school, their intelligence shone through, no doubt. And for the students who struggle academically, they had so many diverse opportunities to showcase their value. As we love to say at Mobile Escape, “it’s not how smart you are, but how you are smart.”

Here are some incredible quotes from the Fish Creek Grade 6s reflecting on their week:

Thank you for letting us have this amazing opportunity to have freedom and use our imaginations and create.

You may have left, but the memories have stayed.

I think that the idea of certain groups doing certain jobs is a fantastic way to make work process go faster.

It realy taught me a lesson about always look twice, as you might miss something important.

I was really eager to shoot and edit a video, and well, I got my dream.

I cannot thank you guys enough for giving every student the opportunity to work on something larger than just their own small project. It really taught all of us to work together, and think of ideas that weren’t ever done before.

Citadel Park School

Two amazing weeks with Citadel Park School

Week 1 - Grades 2-4

The Grades 2, 3 and 4 students combined to create two different escape rooms: Night at the Museum and Pete’s Dragon. While the storylines were selected for them, the way the room played out was up to them. So what did they create?

One room featured a giant dragon named Elliot. The students made the fur, the barn he crashed out of, the truck tires, trees, and more. Every clue was designed to help participants know how to flip the switches in the correct sequence, opening Elliots mouth and waking him up.

In the other escape room, the students were able to create artifacts of many different kinds which all helped lead to the final clue of the escape room. Their creations included an enormous teepee, a dinosaur skeleton, and more. Here’s what it looked like:

Week 2 - Kindergarten and Grade 1

The Kindergarten and grade 1 students are always a treat to work with!

We are often asked, “What is the youngest age that can make an escape room?”

Upon learning that we can help kindergarten and grade 1 students create a version of an escape room, teachers and admin are often delightfully surprised!

The eight different k-1 classes worked together to create two escape rooms. One of the escape rooms followed the theme and storyline of the Pied Piper, and the other a retelling of Hansel and Gretel.

Pied Piper Escape Room

In the version of the Pied Piper the kids were told, the Pied Piper was promised a large sum of gold for getting rid of all the rats in the town of Hamelin. However, upon completion of his task he only received 1 small gold coin! As a result he played a magical tune to make all the kids wander off into Candyland behind the magical mountain until he got paid. So the parents were tasked with finding 4 gold coins in the escape room to “pay the piper” with and rescue their kids from behind the mountain before it was too late and their kids were gone forever!

Hansel and Gretel Escape Room

In the Hansel and Gretel escape room the students left “bread crumbs” behind as clues for the parents to find. These bread crumbs helped them solve the mystery and lead Hansel and Gretel to their escape from the witch’s house!

Both rooms were filled with student-made candies, forests, mountains and other wonder-filled imagery of fairy tales! It never ceases to amaze us how capable the little ones are when they are given a little extra guidance and instruction.

Nose Creek School

How do you make an escape room with nearly 1000 students?

You don’t!

You make 6 escape rooms.

6 Different Mobile Escape Rooms

In our largest and longest-ever residency program to date, 4 different Mobile Escape staff worked with every student at Nose Creek School over the course of 4 months to create 6 different escape rooms inside the school:

  • Grade 9 - Dr. Frankenstein’s Monster

  • Grade 8 - Da Vinci Museum Heist

  • Grade 7 - City’Scape Calgary 2.0

  • Grade 6 - Art Gallery and Crime Scene

  • Grade 5 - Kodiak Creek Express - Runaway Train

  • Grade 4 - Robot Rocket Launch


The Grade 8s and 9s went first and set the bar high!

Grade 9 - Dr. Frankenstein’s Monster

The grade 9 students were introduced to their electricity unit by creating puzzles to power up Dr. Frankenstein’s monster. In the version of the story the grade 9 students created, tourists stumbled upon Dr. Frankenstein's lab but then the door was locked behind them. The tourists had to look through Dr. Frankenstein’s notes in order to find clues and figure out how to generate the power needed to bring the monster to life so that he could bang the door down for them!

One of my (Paul) highlights from working with these grade 9 students was working with the PLP students. It was a beautiful display of their incredible abilities. The PLP class created a unique puzzle where the “tourists” had to find find a battery in order to complete a circuit (which the students created themselves!) illuminating certain lights that revealed new information required to power up the monster. Enjoy!

Grade 8 - Da Vinci Museum Heist

This Da Vinci escape room was a theme never done before, and it took a ton of brain power and teamwork to pull it off.

The students were both learning about Da Vinci’s inventions while simultaneously trying to turn them into clues… not easy!

Some highlights from the room include a stunning sketch of Mona Lisa and a functional crossbow. Great job grade 8s!

Then, it was time for the Grade 6s and 7s to show off their ingenuity.

Grade 7 - City’Scape Calgary 2.0

Let’s build a city and turn it into an escape room! The grade 7 students created “Calgary 2.0” where things had gone astray and power needed to be restored. Specialists (the parents, family and friends) were brought in to help the Mayor, solve the puzzles, and bring the futuristic city back on-line.

Grade 6 - Art Gallery Crime Scene

The grade 6 students were tasked with creating an escape room linked to their Evidence and Investigation unit, more commonly known as “The CSI unit”. In the story of this room the NCS Art Gallery had an attempted robbery. The priceless gem was taken from its secure pedestal, and the thief got away. Detectives (the parents) were brought in to inspect the crime scene looking for evidence to narrow down the list of suspects and make an arrest in order to reclaim the gem.

And last, but certainly not least, were the grade 4s and 5s.

They might be smaller and less experienced than the older students, but they make up for it in gusto!

There was some fabulous building going on as the students in each grade sought to accomplish some pretty ambitious builds: including a rocket ship and a train, each big enough to get inside.

Grade 5 - Kodiak Creek Express

Choo choooo!

Uh oh! The conductor’s asleep and there’s a bridge out ahead!

Your job is to stop the train (made by the fabulous Grade 5s) from barrelling off the tracks into the canyon below.

One of my (Eric) highlights from this residency was the animation that the students made to signify the train going down the tracks.

There were also multiple rooms on board our train: first class, second class, and cargo. This created a really cool dynamic and resulted in both a fun but extremely challenging escape room.

Grade 4 - Robot Rocket Launch

The whimsical Grade 4s developed their own storyline: a mad scientist trying to take over the world with robots! The only way to stop him? Launch a rocket into space with a LOT of water on board, and drop it on the robots to short-circuit them… makes sense, right?

Well it did to these little gaffers! Which is why they were furiously building robot parts, diagrams, a rocket, and a well!

A Huge Thank You

The staff at Nose Creek School deserve a huge thank-you and congratulations. They all worked so hard and created such wonderful work. The teamwork between students was incredible, and this culture existed at the school before we got there thanks to the amazing staff.

A special thank-you to Sarabeth who was brave enough to believe this was all possible.

Congratulations NCS!


St. Philip Fine Arts School

 

Welcome to St. Philip Fine Arts School, where the arts are encouraged and making things is second-nature to all 450 students. This was evident to the Mobile Escape staff as we embarked on the first-ever Catholic school escape room residency.

How exciting!

The grades 5 and 6 built a dungeon in Asgard where Thor’s hammer rested waiting a worthy wielder; the grade 3s and 4s built an outer space rocket launch complete with a lunar rover; and the Kindergartens, 1s and 2s (believe it or not) built a gigantic escape room in the Pied Piper theme.

The young ones were fantastic, showcasing just how much they are capable of. They made a giant mountain, castle, candyland, and more. Way to go you guys!

And to top it all off, St. Philip had their excellent work showcased on National TV. The media coverage may have been partially responsible for the incredible turnout we had on showcase night where the school was filled shoulder-to-shoulder with dumbfounded parents trying to solve their children’s escape rooms.

What a truly fantastic experience for all!

To learn more about our residency program click here.

 

Calgary Christian School - Mobile Escape Room Residency

 
 

Welcome to the Mystery of Mjolnir Escape Room!

I (Eric) visited Calgary Christian School on Day 1 of the residency - Acclimation Day. Many of the Grade 8s had never done an escape room before so it was fun to listen to Adam explain the medium, as well as witness them get to try both our rooms and a Tabletop Escape Game.

And then I was off to Nose Creek for a few days while Adam continued the residency. The students quickly developed elaborate ideas of ships, trees, thrones, and walkways. Adam let me know they had lots of ideas and the build was on.

I returned to the school on the evening of the 4th day to witness what they had made, and wow, was I impressed. All their creations has hidden compartments and tricks that only the observant would notice. In fact, one time they stumped me on a puzzle that was very “simple” - we even use that style of puzzle in our escape rooms!

 
Mobile Escape Room Residency - Thor.JPG
 

It was clear by the atmosphere that evening - the proud smiles, the concession stand, the engaged students - that the escape room meant a lot to them. They worked very hard and did an excellent job.

Way to go Calgary Christian School!

This original creation was made by the Grade 8 classes at Calgary Christian School during the 4-day intensive Mobile Escape Room Residency. The video depicts several clues and puzzles, which helped the participants collect several artifacts, enabling Thor's mystical hammer to finally be wielded again.

12 Mile Coulee Grade 7 Mobile Escape Rooms

As one of the final projects of the year, 6 classes of Grade 7 students at 12 Mile Coulee School in Calgary, AB participated in the Mobile Escape Residency program. Three of the classes contributed their skills, knowledge and expertise toward the creation of one of two fully operational escape rooms, built right inside the school.

There was Battleship, with a giant board of the island to be defended from invading pirates, missile detection system, and shipwrecked clues hidden throughout the room

And there was the museum, with modern art of many kinds, a giant Jackson Pollock-esque splatter painting, and an impressive security system around the coveted statue.

We're happy to say that some of the artwork coming out of this residency was the best we've ever seen.

Check out this original painting!

Mobile Escape Room battleship

And this sliding puzzle on Instagram!

Battalion Park School Grade 4 Mobile Escape Room

Grade 4 Students at Battalion Park School in Calgary, AB created their own escape room inside the school. Over the course of one week they tried professional escape rooms, prototyped their own clues, blueprinted an escape room, implemented their ideas, and worked collaboratively between 3 classes to complete a fully-functional escape room!

Mobile Escape Room at Battalion Park