escape room

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!

Grandview Heights: One of a Kind

If you were to condense the The Grandview Heights story into one sentence it would go like this…

A government secret agent is above a museum spaceship traveling back to the wild west, and things are going wrong…

Wait a minute, that doesn’t make sense. Let’s start over, shall we?

At Grandview Heights, the grade 1-3 students tracked down artifacts in their Night at the Museum escape room; the grade 4-6 students found the location and identity of a criminal in Her Majesty’s Secret Service; and the grade 7-9 students proved their worthiness to be sheriff in the Wild West and saved a spaceship in Mission to Mars!

It is not often that we get to work with so many students over multiple weeks and see their engagement and enthusiasm for learning. It has been a great way to help launch our Edmonton and Northern Alberta programs by seeing the growth of students on multiple occasions! Take a look at some of the awesome creations so far.




We are headed back to the school for a third time this Spring to do a Mobile Escape first: we are working with the grade 7-9 students for a second time in one year! This time, the students get to build on their learning from the previous residency and even design their own theme. The students will need to present their theme idea and how it fits into the curriculum elements that they are learning about prior to starting the blueprinting, build and showcase process this May. Stay tuned for details!



"Good morning, Duffield School...."

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves the creation of an escape room designated “Mission: Impossible”. You may select to create any clues that you wish, but it is essential that you all work collaboratively to make it all come together. Ethan Hunt was on a top secret mission to save the world, but has gone missing. It is up to you to create an amazing escape room challenging others to solve your clues to track him down. You have 13 weeks of option classes to design your escape room and showcase the final product to the community. As always, should you learn something in the process, the better the outcome will be. And Duffield School, the next time you challenge your parents to solve your clues, please go a little easier on them. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.

Back in December, a group of Grade 7-9 students at Duffield School started an option class simply known as “Escape Room”. Little did they know that they would be spending the next 13 weeks building their very own Mission: Impossible themed escape. Escapers were challenged to track down Ethan Hunt who had been captured. They needed to find his whereabouts and start up his motorcycle to be able to rescue him before it was too late.

The students worked every week - once a week - to come up with the theme, brainstorm the clues, problem-solve the logistics of having others use the same space, construct and design all the elements, and finally showcase the finished escape room to the community in March 2019. They built in elements from their other studies including a laser maze, pulley system, electrical puzzle and various mechanical systems (including a motorcycle!) into the final product.

All this wonderful learning was made possible through Edmonton and Area Community Grants!

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!

 
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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.

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

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!!!

Creative Escape Room Adaptations

 

The benefits of escape room games are only starting to be realized: immersive, inquiry-based, story-driven. The list goes on.

As more and more people find creative and clever applications for escape rooms, we grin with excited expectation as this worldwide phenomenon only continues to reveal its potential.

Here are some of our favourites:

  1. Sport Escape Rooms - The first of its kind, Turkish Airlines sponsors this sport-themed room in Greece
  2. Nostalgic Rooms - This room in Georgia was designed to look like a Grade Three classroom. 
  3. On A Boat! - This boat in Dublin has been outfitted as an escape room game. How cool is that?
  4. Science Rooms - Science North is an educational centre in Sudbury, ON which now features an escape room! Or how about a physics-based escape room in Illinois?
  5. Rooms Based A TV Series - London is planning Resident Evil and Harry Potter rooms. Cool! Other rooms include Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and more.
  6. Historical Rooms - A company in England is connecting participants to the past with major historical events and characters like King Henry I. Another room helps Jewish children explore their 3500 year+ heritage.
  7. "Real Life" Rooms - Okay, this one's going to blow your mind: an escape room in the Netherlands takes place in a real prison and lasts 3 hours.

The list of creative applications never ceases to amaze us at Mobile Escape. There's something very "open source" and eclectic about escape rooms that appeals to people in a variety of life's spheres.

As for us, we're focusing on education because we recognize the opportunity to play on purpose, and all the good that can do to awaken wonder in students.

Stay tuned for more updates as we get closer to our official launch in May.