This session was lead by David Beaty
This session was fun and would be a good way to help with problem solving in any grade. Basically there was a box with four different types of locks on it and we had to break into it. The idea originally comes from Breakout Edu. There are so many possibilities for how this could be used in a class. There were clues around the room that we had to use to solve small problems. Each clue lead us to another clue or the answer to the password for one lock.
I think that the possibilities are nearly endless on ways that you could use this activity in schools. You could for example make it so that your class leaders could only test the locks, not solve the clues. You could put in rules that for the first 10 min only girls could talk. Or that the clues had to be solved on one side of the room by one set of people and the locks opened by another.
What would be super important is the observations that you as a teacher take of how the room flows. Looking for who is the most involved, lead involved, reaches frustration, etc. Then in further sessions you could design the directions around those personalities.
I think as well a small documented thinking session at the beginning and a long reflection session at the end are crucial. There were different perception from our group as to the level of participation for example that only came to light because of the reflection session. So it would be interesting for students to properly reflect after to see if they notice the same things that you did during your observations.
I think I would try this two ways with the same groups as well. First having them come together and plan, the second where they don’t plan. Not because one is better than the other, but so that they critically consider if this type of task is helped by a plan or if a plan has no effect.