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Family STEAM Challenge: Scavenger Hunt

The temperature is climbing, so let’s get outside and enjoy the new season! Creating a scavenger hunt is a great way to explore a new or old area by looking at it in a different, deeper way.

The Topic:

Exploring the outdoors with a new view

The Mission:

Use your scientific, writing, discovery, and math skills to make a scavenger hunt, and then find all of the items.

The Challenge:

How many new things can you find? How can you challenge yourself?

Materials you could use (but are not limited to):

  • Paper 
  • Pencil
  • Bag
  • Optional: phone/camera

Going On a Hunt:

This challenge is very open-ended. It can be applied whenever and wherever the materials are available.

To start, sit down with a friend (an adult or sibling works, too) and your paper and pencil. Make a list of everything you think you can find while you’re outside and how many of them. Examples: “Tree. Bird. Leaf. Snake. Red rock. Purple flower.”

The more specific you get, the more challenging it will be. Adding numbers makes it harder as well. 

Work with your environment. If you have lots of wildlife, focus on finding different species. If you are in more of an urban area, focus on plant life. 

To challenge yourself or your partner, each make a list of things to find, and then trade! This way what you are looking for is a surprise. You can also make it a race and see who can find the entire list first. 

If you aren’t disturbing the life around you, use the bag to collect the things on your list. You can create an art project with your findings later. But if you can’t safely collect them, and you have access to a camera, take pictures and show your family and friends all about your adventure later!

Once you are done with your hunt, you can search through everything you found to try and identify it further. For example, what kind of leaf did you find? Did it come from a tree or a small plant? Then you can make a new hunt to challenge yourself even more next time!

Questions to Mull Over:

  • Can you make a city scavenger hunt? What would you look for?
  • How many different species of animals or plants can you find?
  • Could you find a book or online resource to help you identify your findings or search further?
  • Could you do this on a road trip?
  • Was there anything you found that you can’t identify?
  • Was there anything you couldn’t find? Why not?

Thank you to Sarah McInnis with the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire for making this STEAM challenge possible.

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