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.

"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!