Computing Breakout Boxes
Working with our partner teachers in the Omaha area, UNO has built two different sets of "breakout" activities. Inspired by the popular escape rooms around the country, breakout boxes require students to collaboratively solve a series of puzzles to discover the combinations to padlocks within a 20-30 minute timeframe.
UNO's boxes have a similar structure to those found on BreakoutEDU but their puzzles have a specific focus on computing and computer science. We currently offer two different versions of breakout boxes through our lending library.
- General Computing Breakout (set of 8) -- This box has a variety of puzzles that involve exploring computing history, some basic ciphers, and binary character encoding.
- Digital Citizenship Breakout (set of 6) -- Developed as part of the Nebraska GenCyber program, this breakout goes deeper into puzzels realted to information privacy and digital citizenship.
Both versions have been tested with middle and high school students, typically working in a group of 4-6 students per box. Generally middle school students can solve the boxes without modifications beyond a little extra time. Younger (elementary) students could work through the materials, but might benefit from some extra assistance from an adult--we find pairing with parents is a great way to engage with these activities during outreach events!
Borrow a Set of Breakout Boxes
You can borrow a set of breakout boxes for your classroom for a specific timeframe through our P-12 lending library request form.
Want to Make Your Own Breakout Boxes?
Instructions and materials lists for how to create your own copy of these breakout box activities are posted below. In the linked zip files you'll find a shopping list, necessary handouts, and a set of teacher instructions for assembling your own bins. Don't hesistate to drop us a line if you have questions!
- Version 1: General Computing Breakout - Instructions, Materials, and Shopping List
- Version 2: Digital Citizenship Breakout - Instructions, Materials, and Shopping List