BreakoutEDU has really taken classrooms by storm. Using Breakout boxes sold by BreakoutEDU, or by assembling your own, you can simulate an escape room with students in your very own classroom! I am very thankful to have a rockstar student working with me this semester as a teaching assistant. He happens to love escape rooms and wanted to help me bring this experience to the students in my classes. We worked together on a grant proposal to get the materials and ended up with enough supplies to assemble 10 breakout kits!
I assembled each kit with a toolbox from Home Depot (very affordable at $5.97 each), a hasp, and the following locks:
- directional lock
- 5-character word lock
- 3-digit numerical lock
- 4-digit numerical lock
- keyed lock
Inside the locked toolbox? A smaller locked box, of course! It’s actually a little pencil box that has a 3-digit combination lock built in. I have also acquired black lights and invisible ink pens for more clues down the road. I didn’t use these this time around but plan to in the near future.
My teaching assistant and I took an existing game that another educator created and posted on BreakoutEDU.com/games and modified it for use with my classes. We ran the breakouts in two classes this past week and I have to say that they were a total success! Once the students solved the clues to open each of the locks and remove the hasp, they were super excited to get into the toolbox . . . only to find that it contained another locked box! The inner box proved to be more complicated for them. They now know that more information may be provided but may not be used in solving the puzzles. The students were fully engaged, excited, challenged, and having fun. They had to work together as a team to reach a common goal. They had to use problem solving and critical thinking skills in order to figure out the puzzles and clues. One group was able to completely “break out” in roughly 10 minutes. Their speed really surprised me, so I added an additional lock for the next class. That helped to slow the students down a bit. In that class, the fastest time was around 25 minutes but most students took closer to 35-40 minutes.
Now that I’ve done my trial runs in two classes, I’m ready to start working on a new themed breakout related more to my content material! I’m so excited to be adding this new activity to my classes and look forward to sharing it with you.