Escape If You Can!: New SIP Club Prepares Scientific and Mathematical Escape Room for HS Students


“You don’t have any friends to hang out with you during the Winter Fest, so you decided to discover the school campus. While walking around, you find an odd science lab that you never remembered being on the campus. When you approach the door, a strong smell of ethanol liquid blows through you. You suspiciously look into the door and oof! You found out that there is blood all over the floor! ‘It is a murder case!’, you think while moving your hands towards the handle of the door. You are now slowly turning the handle of the science lab… the door slowly opens, makes a shrieking sound. You take your first step into the old abandoned science lab, Good Luck!”

A SIP (Student Initiative Programme) club lead by Grade 12 students Holly and Hannah Seo called “Escape If You Can!” has stepped on the first step of their journey along with other high school students. This SIP was established in the 2019 fall season and has been consistently making progress to achieve their goal. 

 “Escape If You Can!” is a student lead activity that encourages students to use their knowledge in Math and Science to create an escape room. The escape rooms will be presented during the Winter Festival and the Spring Fair to raise donations, cooperating with service groups.

The aim of this program is to show that math and science are not hard and can be approached easily. “I feel like an escape room is a more interesting way to approach Science and Mathematics. The escape room is famous among the teenagers, therefore, we thought that many students will actually be passionate and enjoyable to build it,” said Hannah. 

One of the possible benefits of the program is enhancing students’ knowledge in science and mathematics, as the students are coming up with their own questions themselves. Moreover, the challenges of both creating and trying to get out of an escape room aim to increase critical thinking, communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. Escape room requires a lot of thinking and communication, discussing and trying out different ideas. The students are coming together and cooperating to build the escape room.

Just like every other escape room, it has its own theme. The theme chosen for the escape room is Horror, with the setting of “Murder Case in an Abandoned Science Lab”. The students who enter the escape room will have to gather clues in the room and solve them to reach other clues and escape. Following the theme, the room will be decorated with props, such as fake blood.

For making the escape room more interesting and difficult, unique props will be used. A fake receipt, invisible letter, hidden messages, different types of locks and other props will be used that require not only scientific knowledge but also observational skills and critical thinking.

 “We are confident to say that the escape room will be interesting and surprising in many different ways by using unique experiments like the flame test,” said Grade 10 student Woo Chang Jung. 

Each clue features different topics like math, physics, chemistry, and biology. Depending on the topic, the clue requires the students to use a certain range of knowledge that fits with the topic. 

“As the clues are not biased on one topic, it will make the students harder to escape!” said Hannah.

The meetings are held every Monday after school. The group has been working and brainstorming on choosing the theme and storylines of the escape room so far, deciding on the locks and materials needed. Moreover, the group is trying out different methods to create a better outcome by dividing the group into 2 and making questions for each other. In the future, the group will make an actual escape room that is available to test and analyze to see what went well and what could be improved. 

However, the group is facing difficulties as well. One of the primary problems is getting the budget from the school. As this program is not a service group, it is not guaranteed that they will get the budget that is needed for getting the necessary materials for creating the escape room. 

Nevertheless, the leaders, as well as the participants, are both working together to make the goal become the real-life action. “All of the people in the group are trying very hard, so please come and enjoy our program. Escape from your daily life and come to Escape If You Can!” said Holly.