SciFest National Final 2021

Project 21

Project 21

Do Virtual Escape Rooms Help Students to Learn About Laboratory Experiments?

Student Claire Johnson
School Loreto Secondary School, Balbriggan, Co Dublin
Teacher Brian Higgins
Venue DCU

Research question: ‘Do virtual escape rooms help students to learn about laboratory experiments?’


2nd year students were randomly assigned to a Game Group (GG, n = 76) or Laboratory Group (LG, n = 62, control). The GG completed a virtual escape room that I made on Scratch on the topic of electronic circuits and included PhET circuit simulations mimicking the LG’s activities.

All groups completed a quiz on the content covered.

Twenty 1st year students also completed the GG activity to see if learning styles are associated with getting correct answers in the quiz.

An improved game was developed and tested on twenty 1st year students.


The LG scored 1.53 points higher on average (17%) than the GG according to the t-test (p = 8.9 ✕ ), performing best on questions 1,3,4,7 and 9 (chi-square test, p < 0.05).

There was a strong negative correlation between auditory learning and test scores (rs = -0.6,p < 0.05).

The average scores of the original GG and the revised GG were not significantly significant (p = 0.53)

The revised GG outperformed the original GG for question 8 (chi-square test, p < 0.05).


This virtual escape room game didn’t help improve students' understanding of topics compared to performing the real laboratory experiments and higher auditory learning scores predict lower scores on the quiz (rs = - 0.6, p < 0.05).

The revised GG only did significantly better than the original GG on one question.


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