escape

Calgary Christian School - Samurai Escape

Our first residency of the 2019-20 school year was a thrilling launch. The tallest structure every built in Mobile Escape history was crafted during this residency - and that is no small feat! This week, students were tasked with creating a room themed on the iconic Edo Period of Japanese history. Embracing the rich cultural elements of the Meiji Restoration empowered students to construct incredible props and works of art that transported you to the age of the samurai.


As you enter their room, you are stunned by the looming figure of a colossal torii (archway) that leads you through a bamboo-lined pathway and into another world. You are then met by a dragon statue that commands your attention and immerses you in an Edo Period marketplace. Vendor stalls line the walls displaying various goods and curious weaponry. Further investigation of the room will allow you to discover the secret locked bookcase that is your safe haven from an impending Shogun invasion! Solving this lock is no simple task – four throwing stars must be found in order to reveal the code to your safety.


The artwork in the room portrays students’ interpretations of famous Edo paintings including the quintessential Great Wave off Kanagawa and add to the feeling of authenticity of the time period. This is brought together masterfully by a soundtrack that was composed and written by Calgary Christian students.

From a massive torii, to breathtaking paintings, the Grade 8s Calgary Christian School know how to compel an audience!

Bearspaw Christian School Residency

I (Jackie) had been pondering the idea of creating an under the sea theme for several weeks, and at Bearspaw’s School I got to make that dream come true. Working with this group was an amazing experience for me. These talented students were so engaged, and created a scene greater than my imagination.

Often when I speak with teachers and I tell them we will be working with knives, they are afraid. They fear the consequences of a student getting injured, however I see it as a way to teach a child a new life skill. As an adult, you use a knife in many settings, even in every day cooking. It was a really unique experience to work with the homeschool group as they often have a greater chance to learn these types of skills. There was a group of boys who had already had great skills with tools, and were able to create some pretty amazing things. They were in the building group, and within the first 2 hours of building, they had already started the base for our massive sunken ship.

I was impressed with the creativity these boys had, and the perseverance when their ship fell sideways. There was a moment of sadness, but it was quickly replaced with a challenge of how they were going to succeed. Using their problem-solving skills they decided that their ship walls needed strong reinforcement beams.

The puzzle crew did an amazing job of communicating with both the décor and building groups to ensure that their clues would fit into their projects. They created the enthralling story of a sunken treasure chest to be discovered. The décor team had quite a challenge turning the classroom into a water scene, however with a few props brought from home and a large imagination, sea creatures and coral came to life.

The teamwork the participants displayed was really quite impressive. With such a large age gap between the grade ones and the grade sevens, it was marvellous to see the older participants helping the younger ones, without being asked.

Working together these students created an impressive under the sea escape room, don’t you think?

 

 

Battalion Park 2019

Another year, another epic space mission!


Last year, the grade 6 students at Battalion Park School made a Mission Control escape room, and an Area 51 landing sight as they created an escape room surrounding their learnings from the Sky Science unit. This year, the story and setting was left entirely up to the students with the only criteria being “space”.

Students from Mrs. Mason and Mrs. Moir’s classes chose to collaboratively create a spaceship that was spinning out of control towards the sun. The participants’ (the grade 5 students) task was to collect four pieces representing the earth’s lunar phases from around the ship to reorient themselves back towards earth!

There were a few things that stood out to me (Paul) this week about the wonder that was awoken at Battalion Park.

The first thing that struck me was the excitement and anticipation of the students! We often get the excitement from the teachers coordinating the residency, but the students often don’t really know what they are getting into - not at Battalion Park!

Last year all the grade 5 students got a chance to go through the grade 6 escape rooms. This set the stage so well for the students as they had fond memories of “that lit escape room” the grade 6s made for them the year before. It was so rewarding to see that we were able to awaken wonder not only in the grade 6 students last year, but also the grade 5s, and it stuck with them for over a year!

Last year’s ceiling was this year’s floor.

Because the students had a chance to experience the student-made escape rooms last year they came into the project with more excitement, motivation, and wonder than anyone could ask for. As a result, there were some pretty amazing ideas that came to fruition. One of which was the puzzle featured below, where you had to first find a code to unlock a vent in the spaceship (a cardboard tunnel made from a large trifold) and crawl through to the end with a stick that had a magnet attached to it. You had to use this stick to reach through the end of the vent to retrieve the keys sitting out of reach with just your arm - amazing!

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Thank you Mrs. Mason and Mrs. Moir for having us back again this year, and we look forward to next year with great anticipation!

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

Fish Creek School Escape Room Residency

The First week of February brought a new adventure to Grade 6 students at Fish Creek School as three Grade 6 classes challenged themselves to build three escape rooms. For us at Mobile Escape we were filled with excitement as two of the classes reimagined two of our past escape rooms Vanishing Villains and Forensic Frenzy. 

We began our week blueprinting with each class, getting all their ideas onto paper and working with the students to pick which clues and pieces were going to be built and solved to create their own epic escape room. This process can sometimes be tough but the students all committed to listening to each other and being diplomatic as ideas were discussed and decided on. The rest of the week, teams were created and students began to divide and conquer each element that needed to be planned and built.

The Class bringing Forensic Frenzy to life rose to the occasion using ideas from past escape rooms and what they had been learning in their Evidence and Investigation unit. The clue team created hidden messages using morse code and hiding evidence in safes, briefcases, and an amazing handmade filling cabinet that the builders created. Our décor team created posters and a full size periodic table to make their space feel like a lab. Students even traced each other in tape on the floor to create a chalk-body-outline look.

Vanishing Villain’s featured a handmade chandelier and bookcase that was also a hidden door for them to escape out of. There was also a Puzzle clue that once they found all of the pieces revealed a message in black light.

F.A.M. (Famous Art Museum) featured a full video intro and we were amazed at all of the art the students created to bring a museum to life.

At the end of our residency week, people filled the halls as they lined up to experience the escape rooms. We had many escapes as parents and guardians tested all the clues and experienced everything the students had created. The most exciting part for us was standing with the students as they took over and led guests through the rooms.

Their pride and excitement showing off what they created was contagious!

 

Battalion Park's Escape Room Residency

It was a wonder-filled week of “space exploration” for two grade 6 classes at Battalion Park school!

On Monday the students began the week by completing three escape challenges designed and built by Mobile Escape as well as experimenting with creating their own codes and puzzles.

Tuesday through Thursday the students became the makers! The grade 6 Sky Science curriculum was the focus for these students as they created clues riddles and puzzles that made up their escape rooms (Area 51 and Mission Control) as they demonstrated their understanding of the unit. From navigating constellations and stars to find codes, to understanding lunar cycles and the order of planets; the students created an interactive experience for their peers to solve.

On Tuesday the students began exploring the theme and story of their room in order to brainstorm the various clues they could create based on their Sky Science knowledge. A variety of physical puzzles and mind bending riddles began to shape the rooms.

Wednesday was filled with building! Out comes the cardboard, tinfoil, buttons and other materials necessary for creating space-themed escape rooms. The stars were the limit as these imaginative and creative students turned simple cardboard boxes in to flight simulators, control panels, jet packs, and rocket ships!

Thursday morning consisted of putting finishing touches on the two rooms along with testing it to make sure that everything worked the way the students imagined. Adjustments were made and props were fixed before the final showcase. That afternoon all the students from grades 4 and 5 had a chance to come see, and experience all the learning that took place for the grade 6 students over the week. The pride on the faces and in the body language of the students in Ms. Zietz' and Mrs. Moir's grade 6 students was priceless as they operated their very own escape rooms.

Here are some thoughts about the residency shared with us from the teaching staff at Battalion Park:

"We have worked all year long to support the students in being able to work together effectively to solve problems and this experience was awesome as it highlighted all the skills and strategies we have been building! [The Mobile Escape] program allows for so much voice and choice from the students. That makes it a very meaningful experience for them. It is an exciting topic but [Mobile Escape's] program really brings out the problem solving and teamwork skills of the students!"

Escapemaking with William D. Pratt

It was a sunny spring afternoon on Thursday April, 19, 2018.

Over 150 parents, students and teachers lined the hallways of William D. Pratt school – not to catch some rays – but to plunge themselves into the dimly lit, mysterious creations of the Grade 5 and 6 students' escape rooms: Frankenstein and CIS:WDP.

The Grade 5s took on the challenge of creating the Frankenstein escape room: 5 classes combining their creativity to develop a series of clues that would raise "Frank" back to life.

Some of the clues involved reading words written backwards in a mirror, finding clues under a jar of "spare tongues", and lifting hidden objects to decipher clues. 

One of the most impressive elements of the Grade 5 room was the degree of theming: from aforementioned tongue jars, to trippy red lighting, to an entire wall decorated like bricks, and an impressive exterior display of cartoon "Frank". It made the Grade 5 room a huge attraction to parents and students during the celebration of learning.

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The Grade 6s dipped into some classic early 2000s pop culture history with the creation of their CSI:WDP escape room. Participants were tasked to use the evidence in the room, find the suspect's fingerprint, and scan it in the computer to alert the authorities.

The room was dark. The ambiance set by student-created music. Flashlights darted this way and that, shining over bullets, hair samples, and other evidence. This room was very tricky, and only the most adept escapers were able to scan the fingerprint and succeed.

Overall, each grade worked together very well, pooling their collective abilities, trying something they'd never done before, and showing off their work at an extremely well-attending celebration of learning.

Congratulations William D. Pratt students on your amazing residency!!!

Magic at Sarah Thompson School

November became December at Sarah Thompson School in Langdon, AB and it couldn't have been more brilliant.

Picture this: the school's gymnasium divided into two halves. On one half, students showcasing their learning from the past two months of User Experience . They have been coached in stage and set design, web design, and more. All of their learning recorded in journals an on display.

And on the other side of the gym?

Six escape rooms, built by students, according to the novels they read in class: 

  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
  • Rules
  • The Mixed Up Files of Basil E. Frankweiler
  • Inkheart
  • and more...

The students first launched into the world of escape rooms with Mobile Escape's two mobile rooms, Mayan Mystery, and a maker space. After getting on the same page through this immersive experience, the students then started to blueprint their own rooms.

This process started to uncover some of the difficulties associated with teamwork and collaboration. But they persisted, overcoming obstacles and working together.

Finally, after consolidating ideas, it was time to start building the rooms! It was a flurrious day indeed. (That's a new word by the way. You can use it.)

The last day included room completion, testing, and showcasing to the grade 3s and 4s. This was our favourite moment of the whole week. The younger students came into the gym with rapt attention, fascinated by what the older students made. And the grade 5s owned their projects with such enthusiasm, explaining rules, telling stories, and providing guidance when necessary.

students giving clues escape rooms

It was a beautiful moment that encapsulated a powerful week of learning at Sarah Thompson School.

Thank you for sharing it with us!