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Ms. Menake's CITVC Students Use Teamwork in NYC Escape Room

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Grace Rose '19
23 November 2018

Ms. Kathleen Menake's Contemporary Issues Through Video Conferencing Class (CITVC) took it's annual team-building trip to New York City on November 20, 2018. Collectively, the class decided on going to Escape Entertainment. The field trip's main goal was to promote teamwork as CITVC depends on unity for successful videoconferences. Prohibition Pandemonium Group; photo credit: Escape Entertainment

The fieldtrip taught teamwork, problem solving, and communication skills. Escape rooms are cerebral and physical games in which players solve puzzles using clues and team strategies to escape a "locked" room. Each escape room was created by professional game and puzzle designers, psychologists, mathematicians, and organizational behaviorists. Contemporary Issues through Videoconferencing Class; photo credit: Ms. Kathleen Menake

"I planned this field trip for my students because I wanted to emphasize team building and communication skills," said Menake. "Engaging in a team building program makes for a natural fit for my course."

The class was split up into teams of six to nine students with one chaperone. The teacher-chaperones were Ms. Caren Atamian, Mr. Thomas Deeney, and Mr. Angelo DeSalvo. Each team chose the room they wanted to try and escape. The room offerings were "Alien Attack", "Prohibition Pandemonium", and "Manhattan Mayhem." The teStudents trying puzzles before entering the Escape Room; photo credit: Grace Rose, '19 ams were given exactly sixty minutes to escape. Out of the five teams, only one did not make it out in time.

A shared sentiment amongst the students was that the field trip promoted better communication and camaraderie.

Thien Dinh Do, '19, and his group escaped their room with twenty minutes to spare. "It was a great experience to work with my friends," recalled Dinh Do. "We split the work between those who found the small, intricate details and those who put together the big picture, which led us to escape with the quickest time of the day!" 

Forming a bond between students early in the year is essential for the problem-solving and organizational skills required by CITVC. "I really liked that I worked with a group of girls who I normally wouldn't work with, yet we all hit it off!" said Sarah Olivola, '19. "We went into the room without any kind of plan, and we all equally contributed to each aspect of the room. It was a really great bonding experience!"