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Elgin Academy pupils crack the code to bring space prison escape room to life

Press release   •   Jun 28, 2018 12:17 BST

ELGIN ACADEMY pupils who designed a ‘space prison’ escape room will now have it recreated within the school after winning a competition in London last week.

They took top spot in the national ‘Cracking the Code’ challenge, which is inspired by The Crystal Maze and run by Nesta, the Tata group and Tata Consultancy Services.

It challenged young people to design their own escape room, for which they had to apply their creativity, use of maths and problem solving skills to work as a team to produce the winning design.

Each concept had to contain at least four mathematical puzzle questions to reach a four-digit code to unlock a padlock. Each team was judged on their creativity and the innovativeness of their idea, their use of maths and how well they communicated with each other and in a report.

Elgin Academy’s winning team, dubbed HMS Supernova, set its escape room scenario in a space prison of the future, where prisoners are held and then ejected out into space. Having been framed for a crime, the escape room player must solve the puzzles in time in order to avoid being lost in space forever. The team went above and beyond the brief, created a video, 3D printed the escape room and made an impressive presentation, securing a £2,000 prize for maths programmes in the school.

Elgin Academy’s Principal Teacher of Maths, Lynne Weir, said: “I can’t even begin to say how proud I am of our team! They have been incredible, hard-working and professional. Well done team HMS Supernova!”

13 year-old team member, Carrie, said: “It was a great experience and I cried when I found out we’d won. We developed our teamwork a lot and all became much better friends.”

Moray Council’s Chair of Children and Young People’s Services, Cllr Sonya Warren, applauded the accolade.

“What a fantastic achievement for HMS Supernova! I’m thrilled that their creativity and hard work has been recognised, and I am looking forward to seeing the space prison escape room brought to life at Elgin Academy.”

Joysy John, Director for Education at Nesta added: “With Cracking the Code we wanted to show students just what you can achieve if you mix maths with a bit of creativity and collaborative problem-solving. And they did not disappoint!”

Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live. Nestling between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands, Moray stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Brodie Castle in the west.  

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