Escape from Victory Place @ Coppell
The Victory Place @ Coppell (VP@C) learners hosted an “escape room experience” for the Denton Creek Elementary fourth graders on September 24, 2018. This was the culminating event of the VP@C Computational Thinking Understanding by Design (UbD) Unit. This UbD required learners to work in teams and use critical thinking skills and backwards design to create an escape room within the classroom.
We kicked off the UbD on August 30, 2018 with an educator-designed escape room experience for the VP@C learners. Next, learners participated in a brainstorming session to choose the theme for the escape room they would create, and they chose “Scooby Doo”. We divided into eight smaller teams each based on mysteries the Scooby Doo gang solves in various episodes.
Each team incorporated “plugged” and “unplugged” elements into their design. For the “plugged” element, learners participated in a digital playground where they had the chance to explore the district’s digital toys. With the support of our digital learning coaches, Kelly Skillingberg and Monica Champagne, learners incorporated the Sphero, Ozobot, Osmo, Code-a-pillar and Dash and Dot into their problem-solving pathways.
For the “unplugged” elements, learners were able to use supplies purchased with a Coppell Education Foundation grant. The grant money was used to purchase various locks, boxes, UV flashlights and diversion safes. These supplies provided a variety of options allowing teams to be more creative in their designs. Over the course of two weeks, VP@C learners used their “Genius Hour” to design and build the escape experiences.
Finally, the day arrived for the Denton Creek learners to join us. Since Victory Place @ Coppell and Denton Creek Elementary are both Great Expectations schools, we discussed the life principles the learners would need to utilize prior to the experience. Curiosity, cooperation, patience and problem-solving were determined to be crucial to success. After 45 minutes all teams had escaped! We came back together to reflect on the experience. When asked what they learned, one trailblazer responded, “We learned to use teamwork!.” It was a great day for all who participated!