My name is Margo Bridges and I teach STEM with a focus on coding and design at Norton Middle School in Norton, Massachusetts. 

How did you first learn about Breakout EDU? 

I found Breakout EDU through social media.  The Breakout EDU community is a phenomenal resource. 

What suggestions do you have for a teacher first getting started with Breakout EDU? 

Don’t worry if students don’t break out.  It’s not about beating the game; it’s about developing teamwork and problem solving skills.  Be sure to debrief after the game.

As the world changes, how do you see tools like Breakout EDU preparing students to solve problems in the future? 

Often there is more than one way to solve a problem.  Breakout EDU allows students to figure it out for themselves and not simply follow steps provided by the teacher.  

Describe a favorite moment during a Breakout EDU game? 

Oh, there are so many!!  My favorites probably happen during the self-reflection and discussion that takes place after the Breakout EDU game.  Students recognize their successes but also talk honestly about how and why they would do things differently next time. They then ask when they can do another Breakout EDU game!

How has Breakout EDU helped your students learn about the the importance of grit and progressing through failure?

Sometimes students give up easily and ask for help as soon as they get stuck.  Breakout EDU forces them rely upon themselves and each other, not the teacher.  Their success is very empowering! 

How do you plan on using Breakout EDU in your classroom next year?

I’m hoping to have students create their own Breakout EDU games.

Describe a moment when things didn’t go as planned in a Breakout EDU game? How did you adapt in that situation? 

Watching students struggle is tough and at times it’s hard not  jump in and help!  Most of the time, they abandon unfruitful efforts and move on to a new strategy.  During one breakout, all the groups were struggling and weren’t moving on.  I finally suggested that everyone stop wandering aimlessly around the room looking for clues and focus on SOLVING the clues they already had.  It took me saying it THREE times before they took the advice.  Eventually, all groups were back on track!