How I (almost) learned to pick locks from my Year 8 students

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Recently, I supervised an IT class where the students (all girls) were studying robotics.

Unfortunately, the robots were locked in a cupboard.

My set of keys did not fit the lock, nor did those of another staff member. I concluded the cupboard could not be opened and the class would have to do something else.

But I hadn’t factored in the ingenuity of two industrious girls. They retrieved their phones to search YouTube for videos on lock-picking.

Armed with the necessary tools, a twisted bobby pin and lots of enthusiasm, they set about the task.

The first attempt destroyed the bobby pin, much to the distress of the girl whose hair clip they borrowed.

Undeterred, the girls moved onto the second video. This one involved a can of coke but thankfully, nobody had a spare can on them.

The third video suggested various sized scissors. Despite lots of twisting, turning and grunting, the stubborn lock refused to budge.

While the girls remained undeterred, the rest of the class braided each others hair.

Music blurted out of phones, conversations swirled around the room and there was lots of laughter.

In the end, the scissors were too rough and the girls did not want to destroy the cupboard.

The lock picking was abandoned.

However, I was impressed by the whole group. Not only for their hairdressing skills but for persistence in the face of adversity.

And they were only in Year 8.

It was the most instructive replacement class I’ve ever had.

Author: Sue Bell
Sue Bell is an entertainment writer and author of Backpacked: A mostly true story, Beat Street and When Dreamworks came to Stanley.

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