mobile escape room

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!




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!

Small magnetic stick key gif.gif

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!

West Ridge School Grade 6 Residency

Jackie Morley Mobile Escape Room

Hello everyone! I’m Jackie! A few weeks ago I was able to go to Westridge Middle School and work with three grade 6 classes to build our own escape room.

My creative grade 6 students came up with the brilliant storyline of Mr. Green Missing Money. Mr. Green had invited 6 of his closest “friends” to his cabin, however one of these so-called friends stole billions of his dollars! Although the person got away Mr. Green is quite certain that the money has been hidden somewhere in the cabin. Using your best detective skills, you need to discover who stole Mr. Green’s money and where it is now.

I remember as a kid loving the evidence and investigation unit. I always found it exciting and these kids had the opportunity to learn about this unit hands on. They had the chance to create six suspect characters, give them fingerprints, handwriting samples and clothing swatches for their parents to figure out who left clues around the cabin. The briefcase full of money was found in the sink in the bathroom, and using the cleverly placed clues around the cabin, parents were able to find the missing money.

In the Westridge Comfort Inn parents and friends had to investigate where the bank robber went in the hotel.

The investigators had to first enter the hotel through my favourite creation from the week - a rotating door the kids made! Following the footsteps into the lobby, and an array of clues, parents were led to the elevator. In the shiny elevator, guests found themselves trapped, and having to solve a puzzle to find a hidden key in the elevator to escape into the hallway.

This is one tough burglar to catch!

Once guests were in the hallway, they had to discover which of the many doors the burglar was hiding behind. The kids had a blast making the hallway with plenty of doors, each leading to a potential place the burglar could be hiding.