To promote the breadth of health studies opportunities at Flinders University for Northern Territory high school students, Flinders NT ran a special competition that challenged teams to find solutions for extraordinary health situations – a spider causing problems in the newborn ward, an audiology mystery, and the death of a paramedic.
These were among scenarios proposed by Darwin high school teams for the grand final of the 2018 Flinders NT Escape Room Challenge, held on Friday 21 September.
Teams from Casuarina Senior College (CSC), Darwin Middle School and the NT School of Distance Education (NTSDE) spent several weeks brainstorming, designing, constructing and testing their entries that created an escape room featuring one of the health care professions taught by Flinders University.
Each team was randomly allocated a health profession and given a basic starter kit, including some locks, boxes, a light box and a lanyard. With a maximum budget of $100, they had to produce props, clues, puzzles and a scenario that could be utilised in any room as a ‘pop-up’ escape activity.
“The competition allows the students to be creative – to engage in lateral and critical thinking, and most importantly to practice teamwork and communication,” says Leigh Moore, lecturer in Allied Health and Nursing at Flinders University’s NT campus, who ran the competition.
“Teachers told me that their students were challenged to think ‘outside the box’, bring their own creative ideas and act under pressure. They said they found the challenge both enjoyable and useful.”
After working their way through the challenges behind closed doors, judges awarded first place to the School of Distance Education team, which received a $1000 prize for the school to invest in science equipment or activities.
“This school engagement was also very beneficial for actively promoting the breadth of health studies opportunities at Flinders University, while also encouraging students to visit and become familiar with Flinders’ NT campus,” says Ms Moore.
Strong positive feedback from competitors, teachers, Flinders University staff and judges indicates that this competition will be back again in 2019.