Growing a New Mindset at Dovercourt School

Building and showcasing an escape room in 4 days is not an easy task for students and teachers to undertake.

The majority of students taking part in a Mobile Escape project like this have never experienced anything remotely close to the size and scope of what they are embarking on.

You can see it: Day 1 is filled with wide-eyed amazement and wonder at how they (the students) are going to complete the difficult task.

How can 280 people work together to build not one, but two escape rooms in less than a week of school?

Diving into the project head-on is the only way to go. The students from Kindergarten to Grade 6 at Dovercourt School embraced the challenge in front of them. They were not afraid of the difficult task, making mistakes and learning from them. They came up with creative solutions to their problems, doing their best to improve and, most importantly, kept going when things got tough. It just so happened to be a great example of students learning how to have a growth mindset through a design thinking process.

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The Kindergarten to Grade 3 students built “Up, Oops and Away”, based off of the movie “Up!”. Their parents were transported to Iqaluit, where their vacation plans went astray and they ended up in the North rather than on a beach in Hawaii. While on vacation their pet dog had ended up with a dogsled company. To get their dog back, they must track down his location by solving clues based off of the needs of plants and animals, measurement, magnets, and Iqaluit while building with a variety of materials.

The Grade 4-6 students built “Wall-E’scape”, where parents have left Earth and are now aboard the spaceship AR7-49 holding all of Earth’s population. To get back to Earth, they must track down the only living thing locked away in the small robot, figure out how to keep it alive for the trip home and shut down the AUTO-pilot keeping them at bay. All of this by solving clues based on waste in the world, fractions, classroom chemistry, electric circuits, sky science, evidence and investigation.

Wow, did the growth mindset and design thinking of the students ever pay off! By the end of the week all 280 students collaborated to have their hand in one of the two escape rooms.