Science Pirates weigh anchor on Cardiff in pop-up escape room experience

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Cardiff University adopts the escape game formula to educate the public about osteoporosis, bone repair and the human skeletal system.

If you’re looking for something to do during the summer holidays, why not try an educational pirate-themed escape room? You can get your puzzle fix and learn a little something about bones while you’re at it.

This is what Drs Ayesha Al-Sabah and Naledi Shologu aim to achieve with their pop-up escape room experience – Science Pirates. The escape room will be at Menter Caerdydd in Cardiff’s city centre this summer.

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The event came about after the public showed overwhelming support for an activity that gamified the learning process.

In response, the team created an escape room game to teach how bones respond to exercise and how they weaken to raise awareness of osteoporosis.

Bones form one of the cornerstones of piratical motifs, so pirates make for the perfect platform for kids and families to engage with the topic.

The escape room uses QR codes throughout to help solve puzzles and crack codes. Armed with a treasure map and decoder, players will use what they’ve learned about the skeleton to open the final treasure chest and escape.

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As scientists, we know that it is sometimes daunting looking at scientific information and trying to understand complex principles. So we have decided to deliver this information in a manner of an escape room.

A lot of public engagement activities have involved simple activities or demonstrations of certain principles.

However, we wanted the public’s complete involvement in our activity in which they will have an immersive experience and learn about the topic seamlessly without much effort.

Dr Ayesha Al-Sabah, Cardiff University

Science Pirates is at Menter Caerdydd, 1st floor meeting room in Cardiff’s city centre. The game runs between 10:30am and 3pm on the following Saturdays:

  • 3 August
  • 10 August
  • 7 September
  • 14 September

The game caters for teams of up to five players, and is suitable for ages 13 and over. It’s free to play and it’s first come, first served.

For more information, check out Science Pirates on Facebook.