EDUCATION & SCHOOLS

Utah teacher creates escape room for students

Oct 9, 2023, 8:20 AM | Updated: 8:20 am

WEST VALLEY CITY — A Utah teacher is challenging her students in a new way by creating an escape room in her classroom.

It’s earned her a $2,000 grant she’ll use to take the game to a whole new level.

Sixth graders in Lindsey Larsen’s class at Kennedy Jr. High School are locked into learning.

Their classroom has been transformed into a makeshift escape room where students work together, unwrapping clues to solve a mystery.

“’Lords of the Flies’-ing it, almost to see what they do when I give them a task and I step back,” Larsen said. “To see who’s going to rise to the occasion and practice problem-solving. Who’s going to sit back and let everybody else do it?”

Students like Tayslee Gainsforth, look forward to it.

“Sometimes having so many people working in one area can be hard,” she said.

“You don’t figure it out in time, you feel like you’re going to be stuck in there forever,” added student Paislee Button.

Larsen came up with the idea while doing an escape room with friends during New Year’s.

“I thought I can make an entire escape room time travel themed and tie it directly to the curriculum,” she said.

It doesn’t take much to create a simple one in the classroom, building on concepts like decision-making, resilience and persistence.

“They’re part of that group that got hit really hard with COVID and the shutdown and online learning. They’re just looking for a reason to enjoy being at school,” Larsen said.

The experience will become even more immersive, thanks to a $2,000 grant Larsen received from Voya Financial — a nod to educators who develop innovative thinking for students.

“It’ll be really nice to invest that money in real escape room props like lock boxes, codes, stuff that has codes in it,” Larsen said.

Larsen is new to teaching — about two years in — and the methods she’s using are making a real difference.

“It’s so exciting,” Paislee said. “Yay, Mrs. Larsen’s class. If you had a hard day that morning, we can just go to that class.”

“She basically makes it feel fun like you’re not even learning,” Tayslee said.

“I want to be the teacher that inspires someone to not give up. I want to be the reason why they want to come to school and it’s so much more than a grade on a piece of paper. It’s the experience they’re getting in the classroom,” Larsen said.

Larsen will go up against 50 finalists from across the country who also received the grant. The top three will have a chance to win up to $25,000.

KSL 5 TV Live

Education & Schools

(KSL TV)...

Karah Brackin

UDOT is stressing work zone safety, especially near schools

As road construction ramps up around the state, construction on 5600 South in Roy will directly impact elementary school students heading to and from school.

17 hours ago

Indian Hills Middle School's Amy Shaw, showing her class her collection of pins from the 2002 Winte...

Shara Park

Utah teacher inspires students with her passion for the 2002 Winter Olympics

An Indian Hills Middle School teacher hopes her love for the Olympic Games will inspire her students to get excited about a possible 2034 return.

1 day ago

Kids and teens don't need to worry about late fees from Salt Lake Count libraries....

Lindsay Aerts

Salt Lake County libraries remove late fees for kids and teens

At a Thursday ceremony at the Granite branch, Salt Lake County leaders highlighted that county libraries will no longer charge late fees on books, music, and movies for kids and teens.

5 days ago

FILE PHOTO (Weber School District)...

Carlysle Price

Roy High School student found with a loaded hand gun

Roy High School was placed into a "HOLD" status Thursday afternoon after the school resource officer received an anonymous tip a student brought a hand gun to school, according to officials.

6 days ago

Law enforcement on the campus of Southern Utah University on April 11, 2024. (Photo courtesy: Jacob...

Eliza Pace, Josh Ellis, and Andrew Adams

Police confirm no shots fired at SUU, all buildings cleared and classes canceled

Southern Utah University put out an alert of the "possibility of an active shooter" on campus. 

7 days ago

Utah legislators, supporters of the new law, and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson at a press conference to...

Daniel Woodruff

New Utah school safety law earns praise from victims’ families, but cost concerns persist

Family members who lost children in the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history came to Utah to celebrate a new law aimed at making schools safer.

8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Utah teacher creates escape room for students