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Texas Cannot Escape Climate Change: Students Build an Extreme Weather Escape Room

Texas Cannot Escape Climate Change: Students Build an Extreme Weather Escape Room

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

By Hayley Naples '20

More than 75 College of Fine Arts students helped construct the Resilience Sentry Escape Room Experience. This immense project took fourteen weeks of planning, designing, and building to thoughtfully construct. 

Photo by Logan Smith

Photo by Logan Smith

The Escape Room Project, in partnership with Planet Texas 2050, strives to bring awareness to the changing climate conditions in Texas in an effort to make Texans more resilient for extreme weather.

Students had the opportunity to work with Strange Bird Immersive, a world-renowned escape room company based in Houston, Texas. The organization specializes in constructing realistic rooms and worked with UT students to design the most authentic escape room experience. 

Students created advanced sound, lighting, and visual systems specially designed for this project for an immersive experience. Their work emphasized Planet Texas 2050’s mission of sustaining critical resources such as water and energy in Texas.  

Project Co-Lead and TPA Scenic Studio Supervisor J.E. Johnson believes projects of this magnitude allows students to better translate their curriculum experience to their first job.

“Texas Performing Arts provides students with incredible experiences with access to professional expertise, professional equipment, and a commitment to an authentic work experience.”

In the upcoming semesters, an additional UT class will build the briefing room, an experience that follows the Escape Room which will fully educate Texans about readiness in the face of rapid climate change. The team hopes to be open both the Escape Room and the Briefing Room the public after completion in 2020.

Escape Room Project students

Students and staffers pose for a photo at the initial project phase. Photo by Logan Smith

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