Purpose: An Escape Room was designed and implemented by the University and INFN Torino with the Italian Association of Medical Physics to raise interest in the general public about the application of Physics in Medicine, encouraging problem-solving, teamwork, and lateral thinking (included in the EU education policies, i.e. “Key Competences for Lifelong Learning”).
Methods: Three different environments were designed, focusing on three fields of application of Physics in Medicine: cancer diagnosis, cancer treatment, and research (mainly on innovative technologies for beam monitoring in charged particle therapy, i.e. the Torino research activities). Small groups of players are guided by a researcher or a medical physicist, who helps participants learning through playing. The guide activates the game by giving a first playing card in each environment with clues to solve puzzles, riddles, play games, and unlock padlocks hiding other playing cards to proceed in the exploration. At the end of each environment, the guide puts together all key concepts entailed in the playing cards and/or provided by short videos proposed during the exploration, to leave a take-home message.
Results: The Escape Room was installed at the European Researchers' Night 2021 (Turin botanical garden, Italy) and at the Science Festival 2021 (Royal Palace of Genova, Italy). Around 600 persons participated in the Escape Room up to now, mainly families and students from 11 years old to university students, and there was great success of the installation.
Conclusion: The Escape Room was demonstrated an excellent tool to communicate the role of the medical physicist in research and clinical practice. This first attempt, addressing the general public, is now available to be used as an off-the-shelf tool, but could be modified and improved over specific areas of content, potentially becoming an innovative medical physics educational activity for medical physicists, radiology residents, or other categories.
Not Applicable / None Entered.