I have been both fascinated and confused by BreakoutEDU. I have seen the boxes with the logos in our Tech Integration Lab. I have wondered what is inside and how the whole process works, so I joined the Facebook group to see if that would give any hints. Alas, as the feed scrolled by in my timeline I remained none-the-wiser; how could these silly reindeer games possibly relate to my high school biology curriculum? I set it aside and didn’t think about it again until this past Friday, May 13, an ominous time to start anything!

One of my biology students is also in AP World History and she was very enamored with a BreakoutEDU activity they had done in the lab in advance of their APWH exam. Intrigued, I explored the website and found the Digital BreakoutEDU page, determined to learn once and for all what BreakoutEDU was all about. I started with what looked easiest: Og’s Great Adventure. I cracked the first and fourth locks almost immediately, but remained stumped on the second and third locks. When my Pre-AP Biology students arrived to class I asked them to help and we had the entire puzzle solved very quickly. Teamwork!

I suggested that my students might try some of the other digital breakout puzzles, but that we could ultimately make our own biology-themed puzzles. As I explored the how-to videos created by Justin Birckbichler (@Mr_B_Teacher) and Mari Venturino (@MsVenturino), the students set to work on a biology alphabet, but the bell rang and off they went for the weekend.

I came home for the weekend determined to make my own biology-themed digital breakouts. I would figure it out if it was the last thing I ever did. I did not like how old I felt in my ignorance of such fun and collaborative learning opportunities. Today, on what is the official Dia del Maestro in Mexico, I am happy to report on my progress. I have created two biology-themed digital breakout puzzles, both in support of NGSS HS-LS2-1, our final topic of this year’s general biology learning. I had fun in their creation, and I sincerely hope that my students enjoy them this coming week! If you care to try either or both of them, their links are below and your feedback is welcome!

BioBreakout #01: Ecosystems Basics

BioBreakout #02: Populations Basics

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