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Fun Ways to Celebrate Winter Sports

About two weeks ago a group of fifth-graders asked me when we would be doing another Escape Room.
They actually cheered when I told them I was working on a new one. This one was actually inspired by a family trip to Crested Butte during Christmas break. I started thinking about a STEM challenge while riding a lift to the top of the mountain and BAM this Escape Room and Challenge were born!
It’s based on all the sporting events that happen during the winter and also has a little inspiration from the Winter Olympics.
This Escape Room Quest is perfect for celebrating all things winter- especially sports.

What is an Escape Room?

If you have not read about the projects we call Escape Room, let me fill you in a little. Escape Rooms are missions that involve solving riddles and tasks to find clues to open a locked box. Students work together to find the keywords that lead to the needed information to unlock a lock. 

In this Escape Room, students have three tasks to complete. Each task gives them clues and they discover a lock code to open a locked box. The box gives them their next task. In the end, they either receive a certificate of completion or the materials and assignment for a STEM Challenge!

How fun is that? Let me just tell you, I have students that enjoy these more than anything we do. They love the complexity and the excitement of racing to find the next clue and lock code.

The Winter Sports Escape Room

Escape Rooms are missions that involve solving riddles and tasks to find clues to open a locked box. This one is perfect for Winter Time! The information within the tasks is all about winter sporting events!
TASK 1: This is the latest STEM Escape Room!  The first task is a math paper. The clues lead students to a specific ski resort which is displayed on a poster and when they find that poster they will also find the lock code. The photo above shows a little of the table students will use to compare the elevation of certain ski resorts and the average snowfall for those resorts. This math task is challenging!
Escape Rooms are missions that involve solving riddles and tasks to find clues to open a locked box. This one is perfect for Winter Time! The information within the tasks is all about winter sporting events!

TASK 2: The second task is a map grid. Students place colored objects on the map and follow detailed directions to move objects all over the world. If they follow the directions exactly one cube will end up near South Korea which will lead students to a poster of a sporting event. And, of course, they will also find the lock code for the second box.
Escape Rooms are missions that involve solving riddles and tasks to find clues to open a locked box. This one is perfect for Winter Time! The information within the tasks is all about winter sporting events!

TASK 3: The third task is to match images of athletes with descriptions of their sports. If the descriptions are placed in order correctly they will spell out the answer to a question that will lead to the final poster and the final lock code.

To make this more challenging there are also two “fake” posters with numbers on them- so students have to really think about the clues and choose the right posters!
NOTE: The posters and activities in this Escape Room reference winter sports, but do not pertain to only a specific event. The resource will work every year!

What Happens Next?

The final box is unlocked and students grab a criteria card for a STEM Challenge! And what a spectacular challenge it is!

STEM Challenge: Students build a ski lift chair holding a skier. This challenging task will be tested on a line to see if the skier can remain on the lift! Teachers Are Terrific

Students design ski lift chairs and the skiers! I mean, seriously, just take a look at the skiers and chairs!

STEM Challenge: Students build a ski lift chair holding a skier. This challenging task will be tested on a line to see if the skier can remain on the lift! Teachers Are Terrific
The kids had a blast decorating their skiers with goggles and skis and ski poles.

This set of activities took two class sessions-one for the Escape Room and one for the STEM Challenge. We used math, geography, following directions, collaboration, problem-solving, planning, designing, improving designs, teamwork, and had so much fun! It’s a perfect challenge for the wintertime!

Escape Rooms are missions that involve solving riddles and tasks to find clues to open a locked box. This one is perfect for Winter Time! The information within the tasks is all about winter sporting events!