On Thursday March 15 and Friday March 16 nineteen bachelor students (in mathematics, physics, biology, information science, game technology and artificial intelligence took part in the Escape Room Challenge organised by the Werfkracht programme. Both teams, individual participants and duos turned up to design a Science Escape Room for pupils from the third year of secondary education.
As an appetiser, we started in mixed teams in the four Escape Rooms from Escaping. We all managed to escape in record time, and the mood and the challenge were set. Thursday evening’s inspiration session guided by escape room developer Marc, provided the storyline we would be working with the next day: a question from the distant future to avoid a disaster in the near future.
The student teams were at work from 09:00 on Friday to develop a part of the Escape Room. It was a special experience to see the team connection grow through the day. It was no longer important who would won, as long as the result was a good Escape Room. Questions like: How does this work? What is the science element? What do pupils know about that and how can you use it? Finally the teams fitted their riddles (using bakers’ yeast, a telescope, a mammoth’s molar, a light bulb and an Arduino) together and ensured the jury would look at them in amazement.
At 17:00 hour the jury, consisting of colleagues from the Freudenthal Institute, Marc the escape room developer and three pupils from 5vwo, selected the winner. The resulting Escape Room is promising and the goal is the elaborate on it so that it can really be used in secondary education.