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Stretch student collaboration skills with Breakout EDU

By Lee Araoz
August 8th, 2016

The physical and virtual escape games build valuable 21st-century skills. Here's how it works

breakout edu

There is a new platform for immersive learning games that’s taking classrooms across the world by storm. Based on the same principles as interactive Escape The Room digital games — which challenge players to use their surroundings to escape a prison-like scenario — Breakout EDU is a collaborative learning experience that enhances critical thinking and creativity while fostering a growth mindset in students.

There are two types of games available for teachers to run in their classrooms: the physical games (which are the main games) use the Breakout EDU box (or any box with a hasp that can be locked) with a set of locks, and the digital games which only need internet-connected devices.

Gameplay revolves around a Breakout EDU box that has been locked with multiple and different locks including directional locks, word locks, and number locks. After listening to a game scenario read by the teacher, students must work together to find and use clues to solve puzzles that reveal the various lock combinations before time expires (usually 45 minutes). Teachers can either purchase the Breakout EDU kit, which includes a plastic or wooden box and a set of locks, or the individual pieces of the kit can be ordered from Amazon directly. Either way, it takes about $100 to get started with the physical games; the digital games are free.

The physical games

These games require a Breakout EDU box and a set of locks which can be purchased as a kit or individually. At present there are 60 games available on the Breakout EDU website, and more are being added each week. Teachers can select games based on the age level of students, ideal group size, and content area. There is even a template for teachers to design their own games which can be submitted for inclusion on the site.

breakout eduInstructions from the Breakout EDU website

Most games can be set up in under 15 minutes before students enter the classroom. Each game includes physical and digital clues which help students solve puzzles to obtain the combinations to the assorted locks. All of these are included on the Breakout EDU game page where they can be downloaded and printed out. Additionally, overview videos are included to assist teachers with game preparation.

Game titles include:

  • Dr. Johnson’s Lab (Zombie Apocalypse)
  • Attack of the Locks (Star Wars themed)
  • The Candy Caper
  • The Mighty Pen
  • Teamwork

As they play these fast-paced games, students work collaboratively to find clues while using critical thinking skills and deductive reasoning to solve puzzles that reveal the lock combinations before time expires (a link to a Breakout EDU timer is included).

Next page: The digital games


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