Posts tagged #coding

Webby’s Challenge: A Coding Escape Room


Webby’s Challenge is an Escape Room designed by Stephanie Frey of the Georgetown County Library System for the Ready to Code Toolkit. It is an experience meant to be used as either an introduction or supplementary material to Computational Thinking and Coding Activities. It starts with a variety of framework puzzles to get participants in the right mindset and as they unlock new clues they delving into coding shapes through Khan Academy.

Webby’s Challenge requires a computer and internet access. The experience can be embellished with the use of lock boxes, like from a Breakout EDU kit, but they are not required. If not using lockboxes participants will give their answers to the Moderator who will then give them their newly unlocked clues. It works best with ages 10+ youths and can be played by 3 - 6 players.

Access Webby's Challenge for free on Google Drive


We laminated our Colors and Shapes page and used dry erase markers instead of covering the squares.

We laminated our Colors and Shapes page and used dry erase markers instead of covering the squares.


Computer with Internet Access
Paper bits to cover squares
Figurine to serve as a robot token
Webby’s Challenge Kit

  • First, print out the kit. It has all of the physical puzzles you’ll need. All the items on pages 1-9 will be available to players upfront, as well as all the numbers only coordinate slips.

  • Cut out everything with a dotted line; scatter or hide the pieces as appropriate. Hiding pieces works better with younger age groups, while hidden pieces may stump older players. Any left over scraps can be cut up and used by players to cover the squares of the Colors and Shapes page.



Starting Items:

  • Colors and Shapes Page p1
  • Conditional Directions p2
  • Conditionals Info Guide p3
  • Robot Shape Maze p4
  • Robot Instructions p5
  • 4x Directional Arrows p5
  • Webdings Translator p6
  • Webby’s Note p7
  • Circuitry & LED Page p8
  • Colored Squares Input p9
  • Webby Work Station Web Address p9
  • 10x Number Coordinate Paper Slips p13 & 14
  • 2x Hint Cards p9
  • Pages 10 - 14 will mostly be clues that players need to unlock. Gather up all of the other pieces into their proper groups. If using lock boxes, set your locks to each answer and put the assigned materials in each box. If not using locks, make piles of each material. You may want to use a note on top to differentiate when participants receive each pile.

Robot Path Answer:  Up, Right, Down, Left

Get Rect Unlock p10
rect(x,y,w,h); Slip p13
Webding Small Note p11

Colored Squares Conditionals Answer: 509

Webby WIP Webpage p11

LED Colored Squares Answer: 3220

Draw the Line Unlock p11
line(x1,y1,x2,y2); p14

Fix the Code Puzzle: MOUSE

Epic Ellipse Unlock p10
2x ellipse(x,y,w,h); p12
fill(0, 0, 0); & fill(255, 255, 255); Slip p12


  • Make sure to have a computer available for players to use.

  • Setup a final item for your players to discover once they’ve solved the final puzzle.

What the players unlock from the final puzzle can vary greatly. The story line I usually run is one where Webby an infamous hacker has stolen government documents and the players are trying to pass her trials to retrieve them. I usually have the players unlock redacted government documents out of a final safe. The story you run can vary depending on what would be interesting for your players and the stakes can be as great or low as you think interests them; Whether it’s Webby has locked them in a room filling with poison and players must solve the puzzles to escape, players must retrieve some candy she stole, or whatever story you want to tell as the Moderator. If you want to run the story I’ve provided you can read the paragraph below for your players and embellish it as you please.

Webby the Document Thief Story

Webby is an infamous hacker. Recently, she’s stolen some important government documents. You’ve been sent in as a team to infiltrate her hideout and recover what she’s stolen before it can get into the wrong hands. Webby however has left a number of puzzles to test your skill, and if you can overcome her trials she’ll let you take the documents.

Good luck!


Running the Room

  • Make sure to tell your chosen set up story to the players.
  • Explain what parts of the room don’t need to be moved or touched, such as if you have a room with bookshelves or pictures frames that are completely unrelated.
  • Also explain to your players that if they get stuck they can give the Moderator one of the hint cards to help them through the experience. It’s best to give hints that point players in the right direction without giving them the answers; Such as, pointing out what pieces players haven’t used yet, asking what sets of pieces might have in common, and other leading questions.


Conditional Puzzle: 509

Players use conditional statements to cover up or leave them uncovered the square spaces and reveal a number. Example:

If (sun=green){


}else if (sun=other color){



This statement shows that any suns that are green will be uncovered. If the sun however is any other colors then the space is covered.

Robot Shape Maze: Up, Right, Down, Left

Players assign directions they find in the room to specific shapes. When the Robot Token is on a shape then it will follow the command that’s been assigned to that shape. Players needs to get the robot to the end of the maze. The order of the directions is the answer to the puzzle.

Circuit Puzzle: 3220

Players look at what wires are connected to the battery. Players then need to count each color of LED that would light up. The order of the number code is the order that the colors appear on on the color input line. (If you know LEDs and breadboards, you can make this a much more technology oriented puzzle.) 

Fix the Code Puzzle: MOUSE

Players use the KhanAcademy guide to help them determine how to fix the broken code. Once players have fully repaired the code, a picture of a mouse will appear with the word MOUSE under it. MOUSE is the answer to this puzzle.

Code the Answer Puzzle: 8241

Players use the slips of paper that they find throughout the room. They organize them by font. Players then replace the (x,y,h,w) of lines of code with the coordinates they’ve found. Through this they use code to create shapes that form numbers. This gives them the final answer for the room.

We replaced the circuit puzzle with a breadboard.  It isn't necessary, but it is pretty cool.

We replaced the circuit puzzle with a breadboard.  It isn't necessary, but it is pretty cool.

Article by Stephanie Frey
Stephanie Frey can be found roaming Twitter. She can also be found selling goodies on Society6
Games in Schools and Libraries is produced in association with Inverse Genius and the Georgetown County Library System.
Games in Schools and Libraries Group on Facebook 
Games in Schools and Libraries Guild at Board Game Geek
Email us:

Posted on May 2, 2018 and filed under Escape Rooms, Libraries / Ready to Code.

ALA Midwinter Reflections

This week we present Stephanie Frey's reflections on her ALA Midwinter attendance as part of the Libraries / Ready to Code Phase III Cohort.


ALA Midwinter was overwhelming. I’d never been out to the midwest or a library convention and was unsure of what to expect besides massive amounts of people. After much consideration, I found that each of these elements led to me having a fantastic time at ALA Midwinter, helped me deal with how huge and overwhelming an experience it can be, and enabled  me to get the most out of the experience.

Steph1 2018.png

Sit in the Front

I cannot stress this enough, sit up front in panels you attend.

Normally I tend to sit in the back at events. ALA Midwinter already had me so far out of my comfort zone that I decided to give sitting up front a shot and I got so much more out of it.

Sitting upfront put me in contact with the most excited and energized people; their energy and sheer glee was contagious. Everyone had so many ideas and was eager to get right into solving whatever problem was thrown our way. At the beginning of each session we were handed sticky notes to keep track of our ideas, and everytime it was the groups in the front rows who had forty or more sticky notes crammed full of ideas. With so many ideas flowing, I had so many different epiphanies on my own programming.

Each panel I found the same and some new eager faces sitting up front ready take away everything they could learn from the experience. It was so much easier to make friends, get to know my cohorts, and get so many ideas going.


Exchange Ideas

ALA Midwinter puts you in the proximity of other librarians, so many other librarians. Not only were these people eager to present ideas, they were extremely friendly too. It made it so easy for me to share my own ideas, experiences, challenges, and contribute to theirs.

The strength and best benefit of being around other librarians is how the format encouraged everyone to share how they handled a variety of problems common to all library branches; such as pulling older teens into coding activities, attracting  students to return, and finding online resources for the right age groups. Finding that everyone else was facing the same challenges and finding their own ways of powering through them was empowering. Discovering that some of them used grant money as paid internships to incentivize teens to run their own programs, parent involvement to get students to return, or Google’s Applied Digital Skills courses and a wealth of other resources.

The convention environment was very welcoming to just throwing ideas out there. We bounced so many unpolished ideas at each other which made it the perfect place to collaborate. I had run into one librarian in every panel I attended and by the end we determined we needed to do a collaborative project together using Google Docs.

Set Goals

ALA Midwinter is huge; there are hundreds of people to see and the list of panels go on for pages. The RtC Cohort was kind enough to supply a list of panel recommendations and it helped immensely. Using their suggestions as a guide I was able to plan out my weekend by those panel times which gave a lot of direction to my time at ALA Midwinter. I was also able to glean plenty of fantastic information, and even more fantastic contacts, by interacting with other librarians interested in the same kinds of programming. I discovered things like Citizen Science Projects, HOMAGO (Hang Out Mess Around Geek Out), and a much simpler way of getting data by having patrons mark a single statement that they feel most applies to them. Having my schedule pre planned ahead of time made it that much easier to focus on collecting data instead of focusing on where to get the data.

The Exhibitor Hall was a completely different challenge. On arriving I skimmed the entire convention book that detailed all the stuff going on and found the ALAR Maze happening inside the Exhibitor Hall. The ALAR Maze gamified the whole experience for me and made it much easier for me to peruse all the vendors and exhibits while looking for hidden displays strewn throughout the hall. It even gave me a second wind when I thought I could walk no more.

Through interacting with technology easily put to practical use for our own programming that also gave me extra incentive to check every nook and cranny of the Exhibit Hall the whole experience became more approachable and by the end I managed to win a copy of Ready Player One out of it. I also discovered Vuforia, software, which would work well with resources we already have.

ALA Midwinter is an amazing event. Seeing what people are doing in their own libraries and sharing ideas with others was such an empowering experience. I came back to my own library eager to share everything I learned with my fellow staff and ready to leap into action.


Article by Stephanie Frey
Stephanie Frey can be found roaming Twitter. She can also be found selling goodies on Society6
Games in Schools and Libraries is produced in association with Inverse Genius and the Georgetown County Library System.
Games in Schools and Libraries Group on Facebook 
Games in Schools and Libraries Guild at Board Game Geek
Email us:

The ideas expressed by libraries included in the podcast are not expressly endorsed by the Ready to Code project or the Georgetown County Library System. 

Posted on March 28, 2018 .