Michael Yocolano

Rising applicants beat first-ever Penn State escape room

Over thirty prospective students and their guests visited Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus on August 8 for the second Spend a Summer Evening event of the season.

The evening included tours of campus, dinner in the student lounge, introductions from student-volunteer Lion Ambassadors, an informational session for parents and guardians, and the main event: an escape room challenge, the first of its kind on a Penn State campus.

Attendees were divided into two teams and led by Admissions Counselors Rachel Angry and Johnny Marcolini into the Eberly building, where classrooms were transformed into pop-up escape rooms.

Marcolini, the creator of the challenge, advised the teams, which were comprised largely of first-time escapees. “There are no bad ideas. Anything in the room can be a clue,” he said.

Teams were given forty-five minutes to complete the challenge by unearthing clues about Penn State trivia—and avoiding decoys—hidden throughout the room to open a multi-locked box.

Team Rachel ultimately won, unlocking their box in just over fourteen minutes. Team Johnny succeeded shortly thereafter at the sixteen-minute mark.

22-year-old prospective applicant Michael Yocolano enjoyed the unique opportunity to problem-solve with new peers. “It was strange at first, but once someone took charge, it was easy to help. The counselors made it a friendly environment, so it was easy for us to connect.”