GM Higher, Greater Manchester Higher, Widening participation, Social mobility, Outreach

Aiming Higher Together

A Mathematical Escape-Room Experience

Manchester Metropolitan University

Event date/s: 2 x 2 Hour Slots everyday between 20th May - 31st July 2018
Event start/end time: Morning or Afternoon Slots
Delivery method: Other
Audience: Learners
Target Age Groups: Y9, Y10, Y11, Y12, Y13
Type of activity: Workshop
Topic of activity: Subject Specific
Booking type: Schools
Booking instructions: Please email


In the basement of an old commercial building nestled between Shudehill and Victoria Station an exciting new installation is under construction by students from across Manchester Metropolitan University. It takes inspiration from the increasingly popular escape room and Crystal Maze experiences and applies them to mathematical thinking. Through eight ‘rooms’, participants will work in teams to solve puzzles which require whole-body engagement with underlying mathematical principles. In doing so, they will gradually uncover an underlying story and beat the Oubliette (Escape Room). Each of the challenges contained in the oubliette are designed to be scaled and differentiated based on the age and confidence of its inhabitants; it provides an inclusive space which works equally well toddlers and teenagers, maths-phobic adults and child prodigies. It engages participants with mathematics in ways which disrupt cultural tendencies, through collaboration, embodiment, risk-taking and an emphasis on process over outcome.

The experience demonstrates the ways in which ‘being mathematical’ is something that engages all human capacities and senses, and thus that mathematical talent is more diverse and common than we tend to presume. In these ways, the oubliette will build mathematical confidence in its participants, and combat negative associations which act as a barrier to aspiration and achievement in the discipline.  More broadly, participation in the Oubliette will develop collaborative problem solving and critical thinking, key skills involved in successful transition to Higher Education. For those interested in study of Mathematics or Education, we can also arrange opportunity to explore in greater depth the principles which underpin the design of the installation. Participants will leave with a ‘Maths Escape Room Kit’ which will enable learning to be sustained through the production of their own challenge proposals.

Booking form:


Telephone: 0161 247 3369


Federation House, 2 Federation Street, Manchester, M4 4BF
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