Woodhull Intermediate School sixth graders “escaped” to the library last week, competing on two teams against each other in a fun game designed to improve their all-around educational skills.
Woodhull teacher Mark Helstrom’s students headed to the library with an extra spring in their step. While so-called “escape rooms” are quite popular in countries and continents across the globe, the sixth graders participated in the educational version of the game, which is called “Breakout.”
“An escape room is a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints and strategy to complete the objectives at hand” according to an online overview. “Players are given a set time limit to unveil the secret plot, which is hidden within the rooms.”
Breakout is similar. “Breakout is a set of real life games where you and your friends follow clues and solve puzzles to escape a room before the clock runs out,” according to breakoutgames.com.
Last week’s initiative was facilitated by Woodhull library media specialist Jennifer Brittman. “Escape rooms are very popular these days,” she said. “Breakout is a student centered activity that builds inference skills, develops problem solving and critical thinking skills, teaches teamwork and communication and challenges students to persevere.”
The youngsters really got into the game, which stretched their mental capacities and intellectual horizons. “They have to solve puzzles using clues to find the combination to four locks (four digit, three digit, word and directional locks) that opens up the lock box,” said Ms. Brittman about the game.
Ms. Brittman has been a Huntington library media specialist since September 2014. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in social science/special education at Dowling College in 1995 and earned a graduate degree in library science at Long Island University-CW Post College in 2004.
Prior to coming to Huntington, Ms. Brittman worked as a children’s reference librarian at the Northport-East Northport Public Library, as a library media specialist and technology integrated specialist in Brentwood and as a library media specialist in North Babylon.