Cindy Crushes Programming: Mission to Mars Escape Room
In today’s episode of Cindy Crushes Programming, Cindy Shutts shares with us how she hosted a Mission to Mars themed escape room with her teens.
To learn more about the basics of hosting an Escape Room, please check out Breakout Edu as they have basic kits that you can use as a foundation. You can also read a couple of previous posts on Escape Rooms here at TLT and online:
TPiB: Build an Escape Room by Michelle Biwer – Teen Librarian Toolbox
TPiB: Locked in the Library! Hosting an Escape Room by Heather Booth
Cindy Crushes Programming: Stranger Things Themed Escape Room
Programming Librarian: Creating a DIY Escape Room for Your Library
Plot: Welcome to the Mars Space Station! Unfortunately, the station is losing oxygen and you have 45 minutes to find the key for the manual override to fix the oxygen levels. A former, disgruntled Space Station employee has hidden the clues to restart the system in the breakroom.
You could use the Breakout Edu Kit
- 4 digit lock
- 3 digit lock
- Word lock
- Key lock and key
- Two lock boxes, one small and one large
- Empty bag of Space Ice Cream
- I hate Ares note
- Mythology Book
- Breakroom supplies like plates, salt and pepper shakers, napkins, silverware
- Mars Space Station Manual (See documents below)
- Nasa Mars Posters (https://mars.nasa.gov/multimedia/resources/mars-posters-explorers-wanted/)
- Various images of Mars printed out to look like Mars is outside the window. I like using a porthole or making portholes with paper plates.
Instructions: I made sure I read the prompt, so everyone knew what was going on. I also let them know they had two hints. I am always prepared to add one more hint later on if they need it.
Room Set Up Instructions
Red Herrings: I will have an empty bag of Space Ice Cream and a Tang Container.
Word Lock: This clue will be in the Space Station Manual. I have bolded the letters L A S E R in the document. This lock will be on the large box.
3 digit Lock: I will have a note on the table saying I hate Ares who is the god of war in Greek Mythology and Mars is the god of war in Roman Mythology. I am going to bring a book about mythology and have a Roman numeral written in the book on the page about Ares that says 3 9 9 or III IV IV. This lock will be on the large box.
Key Lock: Key lock will be on the small black box. The key will be placed in the large box.
4 Digit Lock: 0319 On the break table, There will be 3 blue paperclips, 1 green paperclip, 9 yellow paper- clips. I will hide a note in the trashcan that has a picture of Clippy, the old Microsoft mascot. This lock will be attached to the large box.
Final Thoughts: My teens were really on the ball and finished on the 30-minute mark. I would add a directional lock to make it harder next time. I am doing a Star Wars Escape Room in July and I plan on making it a little harder so it will take more time. All the teens were happy and liked the directions. I was grateful to Nic Mitchel, a fellow teen librarian who helped me made the prompt punchier.
Filed under: Escape Rooms, Uncategorized
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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