Engage Kids with a Chemistry Escape Room

14 October


I mentioned in my Music Escape Room posts how I am using escape rooms with our homeschool co-op to help the kids learn critical thinking and cooperative learning skills. But I'm not stopping there! I am using the escape rooms I design to introduce the kids to new information or at least as a review if it is something they happened to already have learned.

So, even though I have tweens in my class, I created a Chemistry themed escape room. I also got the response I expected from them, "but we don't know chemistry!" 

See this was part of the plan. Not only did I want to introduce them to chemistry, but I wanted them to see that they could think their way out of the room without any previous chemistry knowledge. 

And you know what? They did!



In this escape room, the students needed to find a password to shut down a program that would blow up the lab of Dr. K. A. Boom (yeah, I'm pretty proud of that name.)



Supplies Needed for a Chemistry Escape Room


Setting Up the Chemistry Escape Room

There are quite a few printable clues, so start by printing and laminating (if desired.) 

The full sheet clues, atom, periodic table, close up of element, and the 2 handwriting pages, I hung on the wall. 


I do want to note that I changed the font of the 2 "handwritten" clues because the font was difficult for the kids to read. So don't be concerned if the download looks a little different, it should be much easier to read!



The shopping list, I left in the pocket of a lab coat I brought, and the other clues were just left sitting around the room.




Next you need to set up the acid base section. Pour red cabbage indicator into a graduated cylinder (or other clear container you can pour). Then pour a small amount of liquid detergent in one test tube, a similar amount of vinegar in a second test tube, and a similar amount of milk in a third.

 I placed all the test tubes into a beaker and all the chemistry equipment into a cake pan just in case of spills. I added the piece of tape that says 6.7 to the pan as well as putting tape around the beaker and writing 6.7 on it as well.



How to Solve the Chemistry Escape Room


In this chemistry escape room there are 4 puzzles the kids will need to solve to come up with the parts of the password: EsCaPEs (and yes those do represent element symbols.)

These puzzles can be solved in any order, and the final clue will need to be unscrambled. There is a clue given that you must repeat one of the element symbols to get the final word.

1. The first and most obvious puzzle is the acid/ base indicator. The students will need to realize that they need to pour indicator into each test tube and observe the color. The pouring part seemed to come quite naturally to the kids, but be sure they know not to taste the mystery liquids!


They will need to match the colors to the indicator chart and choose the one closet to 6.7. This is the milk. If they find the grocery list they will find milk listed with Ca next to it. 


2. The second puzzle is math using the atomic weights. They will need to recognize that they are using atomic weights. Then using the periodic table they can find the needed weights for the final problem and find the element that matches their final calculation: Es.

3. The third puzzle uses the other "handwritten" sheet. This is balancing a chemical equation which proved the most difficult for the kids. This is where we had a lot of trouble with the font because 0 and O looked too similar, They also need to match this with the final small clue (both have an explosion on them to help the kids connect the two.) With some help, they were able to fill in the final equation with P.

4. Now they are left with Es, Ca, and P. They must unscramble and repeat the Es to get the final answer.

Of course, I also have informational clues available that can be given to the kids when they are stuck or placed in the room for them to use as needed. 



Overall, the kids enjoyed this introduction to chemistry escape room, and they loved the experiment they did as a part of it. I'm telling you, mixing mystery substances is irresistible to kids. Do tell them not to taste though!

Head to the Resource Library to grab your Chemistry Escape Room Printables!

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