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Lesson Plan/Activity

Hack Your Brain: Free Online Escape Room for Kids

July 3, 2024

Who this is for:

Science Communicators

In April 2024, Science Friday, in partnership with the Dana Foundation, launched a new free program to unlock your brain’s secrets!

Custom-designed for the curious and adventurous spirits of middle-schoolers, Hack Your Brain is an anywhere, anytime program for everyone, regardless of prior knowledge of neuroscience. With our online program, you get to chart your own path to discovery—on your own schedule, in your own way, wherever you want.

Prepare to be swept away into a world of discovery as you unlock the mysteries of the mind in the Hack Your Brain online escape room adventure! With each day, a new chapter unfolds, packed with hands-on investigations and brain-teasing challenges. Immerse yourself in the captivating story of a young scientist and robot, paired with thought-provoking educational resources that will expand your understanding of neuroscience in an engaging and interactive way.

Below is a description of what you’ll learn through Hack Your Brain activities. You can also download the Hack Your Brain booklet in English or Spanish, print a one-page planner in English or Spanish, or sign up for the Hack Your Brain newsletter to receive a daily email with all the fun. If you get stuck, there are hints and solutions available in English and Spanish.

A Robot’s Story: Teaching Clipbot About The Human Brain
Embark on a journey with a young scientist and their curious robot as they explore the brain through exciting challenges and puzzles. Prefer to be offline? Print the adventure in booklet form.)

Discover How Your Brain Builds Muscle Memory
Investigate the brain’s ability to coordinate movement, develop motor skills, and create muscle memories. Materials needed: a jump rope (or equivalent), printable grid and cards (download included), paperclips (optional).

Train Your Brain To Manage Stress
Discover brain-based approaches to develop resilience, manage stress, and cultivate a positive mindset. Materials needed: a set of Jacks (or equivalent), printable cards (download included), either red film or a mirror.

Boost Memory And Learning With The Science Of Sleep
Discover how getting enough quality sleep is essential for transforming new knowledge into lasting memories. Materials needed: a dry kitchen sponge, a measuring cup, water, printable puzzle (download included).

Think Like A Squirrel: Nature’s Spatial Memory Expert
Discover how observing animals’ remarkable memory abilities can teach you about spatial memory and the brain’s incredible adaptability. Materials needed: copy paper, pens, pencils or markers, printable maze (download included), two small magnets. 

Hack Your Brain To Increase Focus And Attention
Explore mindfulness techniques that will sharpen your focus, improve your attention span, and enhance your ability to concentrate. Materials needed: ruler, previous puzzles.

Rewards And Neurotransmitters: How Games Can Affect Your Brain
Discover the ways reward systems like games, puzzles, and escape rooms can encourage positive or negative behaviors. Includes four great Community Science projects you can join today.

These educational resources are tailor-made for learners aged 10-14 but can be adapted as needed to different ages. Designed to captivate young minds, each resource features a quick 15-minute hands-on activity alongside brain-teasing puzzles. Extend the learning experience with supplementary videos and background information. Plus, for educators, crafted presentations for seamless classroom integration, complemented by quiz questions, and aligned with NGSS MS-LS1-8: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes standards. Planning now? Read the Hack Your Brain Facilitator’s Guide.

Got questions? Need disability or language accommodations? Send an email at


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