Nov 03, 2019 Israel21c

By Abigail Klein Leichman

The iCenter’s themed escape room experience challenges groups to complete a moon mission and learn about Israel along the way.

Participants in Dallas finding their way through The iCenter’s SpaceIL Escape Room.

How quickly can you solve different challenges to find the launch code and send SpaceIL‘s lunar spacecraft to the moon?

That’s the question The iCenter for Israel Education is asking groups around North America in a unique portable “escape room” experience.

As the clock counts down, participants learn about Israeli history, arts and culture, Jewish mysticism, STEM — and how to accomplish a challenging mission as a team.

Over the past year, the SpaceIL-inspired activity has traveled across North America, welcoming groups with people as young as 13, as well as educators, administrators, and lay leaders.

“Escape rooms spark creativity, develop teamwork skills, and engage learners in new and different ways,” said Dan Tatar, who runs escape rooms for The iCenter. “These immersive experiences activate problem solving skills, tap into curiosity—and are really fun!”

SpaceIL, a non-profit organization established in 2011 aiming to land the first Israeli spacecraft on the moon, succeeded in getting its Beresheet craft to the surface of the moon last April in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries. Although Beresheet crash landed, plans already are in place for a future Beresheet 2 mission.

The iCenter, which serves as the North American educational partner for Space IL, has experimented with this approach to education for years.

Participants in the SpaceIL Escape Room experience have included Jewish summer-camp directors, educators and leaders at day schools, congregational schools, rabbinic programs, and teens and college students.

“Israel’s mission to the moon captured the attention and inspired so many people,” said Tatar. “The SpaceIL Escape Room taps into that excitement and builds on that special moment to create a really unique Israel experience.”

For more information about The iCenter’s SpaceIL Escape Room, click here.