Under the direction of Trinity's newest math teacher, Ms. Sally Leon, the eighth-grade class enjoyed a new project: the Escape Room Extravaganza! The group project was completed by students over the course of several weeks and involved the creation of an over-arching theme or concept (i.e. murder mystery, stranded on a desert island, escape from Disneyland, etc.) and the development of a minimum of five challenges/puzzles/ciphers to be solved. It also included hints for each puzzle, in case they were needed.
Students produced a narrative of the escape room situation including how someone may have ended up in the situation they must escape from, who or what they're escaping from, what the key is that will set them free, and what clues they would gather along the way.
There were some very creative scenarios: escape from Disneyland, Back to the Future, a plane crash on a deserted island, escaping from the jungle, a kidnapping, a murder mystery, and escaping the Titanic. Some of the kids brought in props to go along with their themes. Operation Leviathan involved escaping from a sinking submarine, and they needed to find a flare gun, a life raft, scuba equipment, a radio, and some other things. One of the members of that group made these items out of duct tape and hid them in the room!
Students enjoyed setting up their rooms and having other teams go through and solve the challenges to find the key to escape. Eighth-grader Chloe Critser said, "It was really fun to see our peers' puzzles and the creative things everyone did. I liked working in a group to reach a creative goal."
On Friday night, the cherry on top of this super-fun project was to invite the parents of the eighth-graders into the escape rooms. Parent Jenn Critser shared, "Good news, we got off the Island! It truly was challenging while also creating a fun experience to do with other parents. It was so rewarding to see how much effort the students put into this project." Her daughter Chloe said that watching the parents figure out the puzzles was her favorite part. Many of the families made an evening out of it, going out for a meal with their students after "escaping."
Ms. Leon beamed, "It was all I had hoped it would be, and more! The parents loved it. The kids loved it, and they really set the bar high for future classes to try to match or exceed."
The Escape Room Extravaganza was a big hit and will likely be a new Trinity tradition that students will look forward to enjoying when they reach 8th grade!