In this fun and challenging activity teams are locked in a room (in theory!). The doors are chained shut and there are just 60 minutes to escape! Can teams work together under time pressure to crack the code and unlock the doors?!
- Test how well teams perform when working under pressure
- Test teams' understanding of a complex task
- Practice organizational and time-management skills
- Highlight the value of teams interacting and sharing data with other teams (in cooperation, not rivalry)
- Practice teams' approach to problem-solving (lateral thinking)
To taste freedom teams must discover the vital lock combination that releases the door.
The lock combination is made up of a number of digits. Each team must find ONE of those digits so that when used together in the right order they unlock the chains.
Teams find the crucial digits by solving 8 problems. BUT- they are not all straightforward - it's very easy to go wrong if you are not organized and paying full attention to every aspect.
To ensure they solve the problems correctly teams need to work with each other rather than competing. Wrong answers incur time penalties. Two such penalties, for example, reduces the time available from the original 60 minutes to just 50 minutes. It's a race against time - but more haste often means less speed!
A correct solution to a problem earns teams a letter of the alphabet (although only the FIRST team with the right answer gets the letter). There are eight letters available which, when put in order together with other letters teams possess at the start, spell out who locked them in the room. Teams need to know this before they can escape.
To succeed, teams must:
- Find the combination
- Discover who locked them in
- Build a tower that meets certain criteria
- Divide the group into four teams of 3-6 participants and set the scene, explaining that the doors to the room are 'locked and chained' (posters showing locked doors are provided to stick on the doors).
- Issue the Team Briefs and team resources and announce they have 60 minutes to escape.
- Observe but do not get involved - except to stand by to receive teams' answers to the problems.
- If the solution is correct, issue that team with a letter of the alphabet. If incorrect issue a 5 minute penalty to the whole group.
- At the deadline ask each team to announce their ‘digit' that together make up the combination. Ask “Who locked you in?” and measure team towers.
- If ALL the criteria are met, within the deadline, then teams have achieved their objective and you can release the chains on the doors! They are FREE!
- Lead a debrief on the key lessons that were thrown into relief. Lots of issues to address, all covered in the Trainer's Notes (along with a step-by-step guide).
It's very straightforward to run a session.
- Trainer's Notes
- ‘Locks & Chains' Door Posters
- Team Briefs
- Trainer's Checklists
- Tape Measure
- A4 Card
- Additional Resources: Artstraws, Fibre Pens, Paper, Sticky Tape & Rulers
Participants 12-24 (in 4 teams of 3-6 per team)
Timing 1 hour
The Escape Room is designed by Northgate Training Activities