Xcape Box Extravaganza

The Tyrone groups posing near the Dog Rescue escape box.

Tyrone Area High School math teachers, Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Marasco, took a group of students to the IU8 building in Altoona to compete in the Xcape Box competition. At the competition, there were fourteen teams set up to compete. The teams were from Bellwood, Tyrone, Altoona, Hollidaysburg, Everett, and Central high schools.

“I thought it was really neat to be able to solve different peoples’ escape boxes because I’ve never done one before!” Sophomore, Anna-Lynn Fryer says.

Tyrone Student Council members met the instructor of the Xcape competition, Jamie Forshey, at the Bellwood escape room earlier in the year and really enjoyed the room. Jamie then got into contact with the Student Council instructors and invited them to compete in the Xcape Box Extravaganza.

The students worked on the projects for three months before the competition. There were two groups from Tyrone that went to the competition. One of the groups made their box themed around time travel. They made the boxes about the only boy of the group, Wade Hendrickson. The goal was to bring Wade back to the present time. The other group created a project based on the theme of a stolen dog. The escape box would open up clues and in the end, the person competing would figure out who the culprit was and they would rescue the dog.

The boxes were made from a small fund from the school for the locks and boxes and from items that were brought in by the teachers and students.

Both groups were judged and received high scores. One judge stood at every teams’ escape box throughout the games played and then they judged them based on how well the box could be open, how organized the box was, and how easy or hard the puzzles were. The time travel project got a perfect score and the dog rescue group only missed one point.

“This was an amazing experience with amazing people! It was so much fun designing and escaping,” said Junior Emily Detwiler.

The students who went put a lot of time and effort into the project, alongside the aid of both of the advisors. The students met before school, after school, and had people test the projects during the school day. Both teachers and students tested out the projects before they were brought to the competition.

“I’m really excited to see how the teams will be able to expand upon what they have done this year, for next year,” says escape box instructor, Mrs. Smith.

Next year, Mrs. Marasco and Mrs. Smith hope to do it again with more groups from Tyrone.

“I thought it was great! I thought the student excitement was great! It was fun for the students to build and also do the escape boxes. The other students at Tyrone also enjoyed testing the escape boxes out,” says escape box instructor, Mrs. Marasco.