Students Travel to 1986 in Campus Escape Room
Over the weekend, four groups of students enjoyed a fun game in the style of an escape room. Rather than actually escape the room, the groups solved a series of puzzles to unlock a box. In this game scenario, the groups of students were transported to a school computer lab in 1986 and the only way to return to the present was by unlocking the box sealed by four different locks!
The game began with a clue from Carmen Sandiego, that led them to an assortment of floppy disks. They found journal entries from the popular computer game Oregon Trail, news clippings about Atari’s epic fail E.T.: the Game, a jumbled Mavis Beacon typing tutorial, and a number puzzle that combined Tetris and tangrams to build a staircase for Nintendo’s Mario.
The groups had forty-five minutes to complete the challenge and achieve “We Broke Out!” champion status. The students found wildly colorful scrunchies and mini Rubik’s cube prizes inside the boxes when they succeeded.
The locks varied: 3- and 4-digit combination locks, and 5-character alphabetical lock, and a 5-character directional lock. The students also hunted for a key that unlocked a smaller lockbox and discovered a special flashlight that allowed them to read hidden clues. Students used any resources at their disposal to solve the puzzles, including QR code scanner applications on smartphones, internet resources, and their own deductive reasoning.
The game facilitator Mrs. Woolfrey was delighted to see how the students applied their knowledge and problem-solving skills to crack the combinations. The students persevered, determined to solve the problem with minimal teacher assistance. Collaborating and communicating with each other, all four groups succeeded in unlocking the box under the 45 minutes with just a little help from Mrs. Woolfrey.