Now that summer has moved into the school year, we are going to continue with our original mission of delivering posts revolving around technology. For our first week back, we are going to look a fun project that you can do on your own for a school project or fun with your friends and family: making a QR code scavenger hunt!
You may have joined us for a hunt this summer at the Library's Teen Survivor Night and Animecon X.
A Little QR History
First developed by a subsidiary of Toyota in the mid-1990s, QR codes (short for Quick Response Code) were initially designed to track vehicle parts during manufacturing (much like a grocery scanner tracks inventory from UPC codes). Due to the high amount of data that can be stored, QR codes were adopted for other applications, most notably the advertising industry. QR codes can hold a URL address that, when scanned with a smartphone, takes the user directly to a website. This makes accessing a site much quicker that manually typing the site address and utilizing a search engine.
There are multiple free apps that you can use to scan and retrieve information from QR codes. To find one, search your App marketplace, any of the free apps will work just fine.
Since QR codes can hold large types of data (like really long URL addresses), they are the perfect tool for creating a digital scavenger hunt.
What do QR Codes have to do with Scavenger Hunts, exactly?
Since QR's can hold data types, like URL addresses, you can set up a website that holds information leading a seeker toward clues. Try scanning or clicking the code at the top of the page .
When the user scans a QR, they are taken to a web page that holds the information that will lead them to the next code. When they scan the next code, they will be taken to another webpage that has all the information for finding another clue until they reach the end.
Making Your own Scavenger Hunt
To make your own scavenger hunt, you'll first need to make your own website with as many pages as you have clues. For more information on making your own site, click here. (We used Weebly.com to quickly create our own free site)
Next, transform all the URL address for each page of your site into a QR code. We used goo.gl URL shortener. Just click details under the shortened URL after verifying the captcha. You will be able to save the QR image for the hunt.
Print and hide the QR's within the parameters of the hunt boundaries, and edit the pages to give clues to the next code. Be sure to hide the pages on the home page when editing your site, or else the player can simply click the link to the last clue and find the prize.
A Hunt of Epic Proportions
If you can't get enough of scavenger hunts, give Munzee a shot. This combines QR hunts with GPS technology to lead you to hides in 50 different countries. This does require you to have an additional device with a GPS receiver, but most smartphones have that.
Awesome Treasure Hunt ReadsIf you enjoy seeking treasure or a good scavenger hunt, then be sure to check out these great books from your Library. Special thanks to Heather at the St. Matthews Library and Lindsay at Southwest for the reading recommendations!
- Treasure Island
- The Hobbit
- Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares
- The Dust of 100 Dogs
- 13 Little Blue Envelopes
- The Caged Graves
- Treasure Forest
- Skeleton Creek