It's Elementary for 'Escape Room' Investigators
In this Game of Challenge, There’s No Escaping the Fun of Being an Investigator
An “Escape Room” specifically designed for the younger set was a recent enrichment activity offered to Third through Sixth graders, thanks to Sayville High School’s Forensics Team and science teacher/Forensic Team Club advisor Sally Stoll-DePompeo.
The “Escape Room Game,” often called Breakout, is a theme-based, life-sized game of challenge held in a closed environment embedded with clues. While beating the clock set for sixty minutes, participants follow the clues, crack the codes and problem-solve their way to “freedom.” It is fun for all ages and helps hone investigative skills, not unlike those of Forensic specialists.
“BreakoutEDU is an educational escape-room activity,” explained Sally Stoll-DePompeo. “The Forensics Team decided to host this enrichment activity based on the theme of climate change for elementary-aged students in the district. There was no cost for attendance; we merely requested a free-will donation of non-perishable food items for the local food bank.”
The grade-school students who signed on for the enrichment activity learned the value of teamwork during the course of the game. They put their heads together and dealt with each step of the challenge thoughtfully on their journey to the solution. Hints were available if the students needed a nudge here and there to get past a difficult clue. “I was so impressed by the fifth-grade group. They worked hard to solve the Room without using any hints! They were awesome!”
Having an aptitude for computer literacy and reading comprehension along with good observational skills were important, but being willing players ready to adapt to each clue brought genuine excitement to the game. In the end, each of the teams solved the clues and puzzles that helped them open the locks on a box containing the answer to the negative effects of climate change.
”All of the teams were able to break out in time,” Mrs. Stoll-DePompeo said. “Congratulations to all!”