Are you aware of the Escape Room trend, or the similar breakout logic puzzles that teachers use in classrooms? Here is the basic idea of the escape room. You and some friends or colleagues go to a company that has created an escape room. Like, in the real world, physically, you go to a place.
Each escape room typically has a theme, like an apartment, library, or bank vault, and is decorated accordingly. You get locked into the room, and the timer starts. Before the timer goes off, you must gather clues and solve puzzles to obtain the code to the lock in order to leave the room, or escape. There are typically several codes and padlocks. So, you look around the room, and solve a puzzle to get a code. You enter the code into a padlock on a drawer, small safe, or lockbox, to open it. Inside, you’ll find clues that help you get the next code, which opens another lockbox, and so on, until you ultimately figure out the code that allows you to escape the room. It is totally fun, and my family loves these (photo of me and my son Jason after breaking out of a room).
A similar version is played in schools as well, typically in math or STEM classes. The teacher will create breakout puzzles around the classroom. Students must find clues to figure out the codes. Entering the correct code unlocks a box. The puzzles require a bit of math and logic to get the code. It is a great learning activity, and helps the students stay engaged and have a bit of fun while applying what they learned.
Well, I was telling my son, Jason, that I wanted to create something similar for my Excel courses. So, I’ve created a bunch of Excel Breakout Puzzles…how fun is that! You must use the Excel skills presented in the course to solve the puzzle and enter the code. Basically, I hide the code somewhere in the Excel workbook, and you have to use what you learned to reveal the code.
These Excel breakout puzzles are debuted in the Excel University Graduate Certification program. I’ll send along more information about the certification program in my next blog post.
But, in the meantime, I wanted to give you an idea of what one of my Excel breakout puzzles is like, so, I figured I’d give one to you now.
Want to play?
Download the Excel file below, and see if you can find the 4-digit numeric code I’ve hidden in the workbook. If you figure out the code, enter it into the comments below.
Hope you have fun!
Here is a video that walks through the solution to the Excel breakout puzzle.