How To: Designing a Scavenger Hunt

Sarah Adams
Kalamunda Senior High School

Following up on our recent SmartRider Raffle and Scavenger Hunt post, we wanted to share more detail about how we navigated this process. We hadn't attempted this before but would highly recommend it as a highly engaging method of promoting sustainable practice!

How we designed our Scavenger Hunt:

1. Decide the scope.
How much time is there? How large will your teams be? What age are the students? How much help will be available? What are the rules? Who will run it?

We wanted to be able to manage multiple teams so this meant having a very specific time restriction. We chose for 30 minutes with a points penalty to ensure students returned on time. We let students know they could ask for help throughout the Scavenger Hunt and also provided a map and listed a firm set of rules on their sheets. We had students and staff teams to help run the activity.

2. Decide the method of collection.

Will they take photos? On whose camera? Do they need to collect tokens for finding particular locations?

We wanted photographic evidence of what students had found and had a set of school cameras available. It would be an option for students to use their own devices depending on their age and ability, but restricting this to one device per group would be ideal or it could get difficult collecting their final entry. Alternatively if cameras are difficult and you have a larger number of staff you could have students collect a token from a designated staff member after answering a question or finding a particular location.

3. Decide the focus.
What will they need to find? Will it be a list of items/objects/places? or clues they need to decipher?

We were working with high school students with teams from Year 7-12 eligible to enter. We limited their search to 30 minutes so didn't give too many items. However we chose to provide a list of clue rather than specific items. This allowed for interpretation which meant some groups didn't accurately identify all of the items and we had a way to decide a winner. We tackled sustainability on a broader level and integrated our active transport focus in to the activity. Depending on your school's context you could look at different modes of active transport. One idea we didn't do this year was to order Your Move temporary transport tattoos from the rewards store and ask different staff to wear them. Students could have searched for these staff members with clues and had their photo with them.

4. Decide how many points will be available.
Will there be bonus points? penalties? Are these capped?

We initially awarded points for identifying the correct item(s) or providing accurate information.
We gave bonus points for images that involved group members and had a list of extra challenges for teams to tackle. This included things like miming an active method of travel but could also be unscrambling key words related to the Your Move program. We deducted points for groups that took too long and could have awarded a time-bonus for groups that returned more quickly.

5. Decide how you will collect team entries.

We used cameras with SD cards and were prepared with a laptop to copy files. As each team registered and was given their 30 minute window we created a folder ready for their images upon their return. The last photos in each group were their finished entry forms with any written responses - just in case they got lost!

6. Decide how long you will need to decide the winner.

You might think you can decide this after you finish receiving entries but every single team wants to know when winners will be announced! We were able to tell students to wait for the daily notices and published our winners there the very next day.

7. Create your forms.

We made one page, double sided, entry forms. A copy of our 2019 scavenger hunt is attached for you to see how we delivered information to students. It's not perfect and there are changes we would definitely make! But it was an effective starting point and competition was fierce! Students were provided this on a clipboard along with a school camera and pen.

We hope this is helpful if any other schools want to give this activity a go!

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James (Your Move)

Thanks Sarah for this fully loaded story! Although you were already allocated the points for this activity in your previous story, for this story you have received a further 20 points for really making is easy for other schools to try it as well as another bonus of 20 points for sharing your helpful event sheet.

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