Sorry this has taken me longer to get to than I originally planned, but I hope that you find the information useful. I am attaching a link to my youtube video (first video…sorry I’m awkward) and I will list the steps that I took here as well.
If you work in a lab, you know that lab week is one of the only times we truly feel recognized for what we do. I look forward to lab week every year. With a global pandemic, obviously things have to change. We weren’t going to have food brought to us, we couldn’t have a potluck, and the normal games weren’t an option. I think this year we needed something fun more than ever, which required us to get creative.
Our shift has done an escape room outside of work more than once. We love them! Escape Rooms are such a great way to promote critical thinking and teamwork.
As a homeschooling mom, I love anything that helps my kids think outside of the box, so I am planning to create something similar for my daughter to help reinforce multiplication facts over the summer.
If you have ever done an escape room, you know that there is a basic storyline and theme.
The best advice I can give you is to stick to your theme.
Do not try to incorporate too much or you will get overwhelmed. In our case, we used Mother Goose nursery rhymes and all clues incorporated a story or character. For example, the first clue tubed down mentioned a Dr. Wolfe (in reference to the Big Bad Wolf). We tubed this down the tube station and then walked down to let our coworkers know what was going on.
The storyline mentioned a patient of Dr. Wolfe’s who turned out to be Humpty Dumpty, and the techs had to work together to figure out what happened with the patient.
We set this up in a way that everyone would have to figure out a strategy together, but they could do this while working since clues were hidden in each department. We tried to utilize clipboards that the techs would look at during specific times (while performing maintenance for example). We placed a logic puzzle on a clipboard in chemistry that would serve as the code for the final combination. Another clue utilized was a pigpen cypher, which was hidden inside of one of the tubes found.
I started thinking of riddles such as
“Mary had a little lamb, its’ fleece was white as snow. Please make sure to run your high control before your low.”
For this particular riddle, this led the tech in Urinalysis to look in the control boxes.
Another riddle used was
“Jack be nimble, Jack be quick. Jack checked for clots with a stir stick.”
For this clue, a tube was hidden inside a box of wooden sticks in Hematology.
We hid clues in all departments, and the goal was to find all four tubes, which would spell out BANK. Obviously these were blood tubes, so the techs knew to look in blood bank. Once in blood bank, they looked for anything out of place. We place a Mother Goose book on the shelf with procedure manuals, and they used the table of contents along with a Logic Puzzle to crack the final code.
I suggest having a few extra clues, because things will likely not go as planned. In our case, one of our “big clues” was that one of the hidden tubes was tracked. Some of the clues led to a specimen ID where they would find the hidden tube, but one of the techs found this before pricing together the specimen ID. This was no big deal, but I’d suggest having a few extra clues just in case something like this happens.
The final step was to open the locker of the person who helped Humpty Dumpty. The techs solved three math problems to figure out the locker combination. Once they opened the locker, they found a note revealing that they had escaped.
If you have any questions, please feel free to comment. Fill out the contact form and follow, and I will send the templates your way :). These can be easily tweaked for a different theme. Thanks for reading!