STEAM camp

U of A Discover-E: Round Three

Week 3 of the University of Alberta DiscoverE Mobile Escape Room Summer Camp has come to a close. Even though all three weeks of campers had the exact same theme and mission brief somehow they managed to create very different and very unique rooms.

This is why we do what we do!

Each individual is unique in their ideas, learning, method for solving, and creations. We love to see these differences in a setting where each individual has the opportunity to thrive. Building an escape room has the uncanny ability of bringing all of these elements out within a group.

We had three very different and unique creations come from a single theme by just changing the group of people involved. It has been amazing and exciting to see the differences. We saw firsthand that no one individual, group or experience is the same, and that is always exciting!

For the final week of Mobile Escape Camp this summer, campers from 10-12 years old set out to design an alien planet where you and your team have crash-landed. You need to find resources to survive and the location of your rescue ship before being able to transmit for rescue. Campers created a map of the planet and the sky above for participants to solve. The end creation truly felt like you had crash-landed a spaceship on another planet. The University faculty even challenged the room. Don’t worry, they managed to survive and get rescued!

We had a blast working with the University of Alberta, the Faculty of Engineering and everyone at DiscoverE this summer. We look forward to a future of more exciting ideas and creations!

Discover-E: Space Race Too!

If you had told me on Sunday that by Wednesday morning, I would have a group of 13-year-olds clustered around a three foot by three foot piece of paper lovingly adding details to an immense headshot of Vladimir Putin, I don’t think I would have believed you. However, “Kylie Lip Kit Putin” (as he was lovingly monikered) made an appearance alongside “Orange You Glad We’re Canadian” Donald Trump in DiscoverE x Mobile Escape Camp Week 2!


The theme: A modern space race. What initially began as Elon Musk vs. Mystery Scientist sending a car to space morphed into a beautiful piece of tomfoolery called “Space Race Too”. (Yes, too not two.)

Donald Trump, in an effort to prove his superiority over Russia, has started a new race to the moon. Putin, caught up in his own competitive spirit, meets the challenge and he and the Russian Space Program rush to be the first to send their new rockets to the moon.

This room was a particular challenge because we built two rooms, side by side, that were a head-to-head contest where one team represents NASA, and one was the Russian Space team. You had to hit your rocket launch button first to win! It was a huge build, but it turned out so neat! The detail work in the security cameras and the Laika memorial were absolutely hilarious and essential. I’m so proud of all the work we got done, especially because lots of it was done without my direct involvement! We couldn’t have done it without the great team of counsellors at DiscoverE.

School’s out for the summer: Now let’s build an escape room…

This summer, we partnered with DiscoverE at the University of Alberta to do a one of a kind summer camp. From July 8-12, campers between the ages of 10-12 years old joined us in a week of story writing, design, prototyping, building and making with the goal of creating a fully functional escape room in only 5 days.

Starting from scratch with an empty classroom on Monday, campers took the theme of space and began to design an escape experience to present at the end of the week. What would the story be? Where was it going to take place? What puzzles were people going to have to solve? These were all questions that the campers had to answer.

Seeing the enthusiasm for the task at hand was amazing! Campers faced the challenge head on and set out to create a challenging build. It was two separate rooms in one. People solving the room would be split into two teams and be either be in mission control or on the star cruiser. They would then need to figure out how to communicate (unlocking the backup radios) and then solve problems for the other team to complete a common goal. It was an ambitious concept that reaped the rewards of all the hard work. Feedback about the experience of solving the Mobile Escape Room was extremely positive!

Engagement from the campers throughout the week was amazing. Breaks needed to be scheduled for the campers because they just wanted to keep working on the project. This is shown through a note-able quote from on of the campers: “This was the first camp I have been at where other campers did not pull out their phones at all during the week. Everyone was so engaged!”

We have two more weeks of camp with discoverE this summer. We at Mobile Escape cannot wait to see what amazing creations are yet to come!