Students are literally escaping into careers by building escape rooms that are built on career themes with certain clues, strategies and hints.

In Suffolk, Virginia, the Youth Career Center of Hampton Roads and Opportunity Inc hosted “Escape the School” in partnership with the Paul D. Camp Community College. 67 students from pubic and private high schools in the Suffolk area entered nine escape rooms that were career themed in fields such as medicine and manufacturing.  Each room had a timer of 30 minutes for the teams which were randomly assigned.

“Students come in that don’t know what they want to be,” said Paul D. Camp High School Career Coach Susan Stubenrauch. “They just have ideas or pieces. They don’t see how they can turn those into professions or careers.”

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There were retired shipyard engineers, active-duty military, and medical specialists among the volunteers who supervised and guided the students.

“It’s a really good way of having fun while solidifying that knowledge, rather than the traditional lecture format,” said Christina Brooks, youth services director with The Youth Career Center of Hampton Roads and Opportunity Inc. “We’re always looking for new and exciting ways to teach career education.”

Some of the students were selected to play the part of “slacker zombies” characters that slowly walked toward them and encouraged them to work faster so that they would not become slackers themselves. Teamwork was essential.

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