Teacher Rene Vela, from Culver City, California, was looking for an activity that combined education with fun and would hold the attention of junior high school students. What he found was Urban Adventure Quest, a smart phone guided, scavenger hunt, walking tour of downtown Dallas, that was part Amazing Race adventure, part historical walking tour.
The conference was held at the Hyatt Regency, Dallas, which has an underground walkway to Union Station, the starting location of the Dallas Quest. The tour was 2.3 miles and took students through the downtown historic district and among monuments, past great works of art and to the site of a national tragedy. Students worked together to solve challenges and complete puzzles in order to receive another clue that would lead them to their next location. The game itself kept track of the score and time, fostering a spirit of competition between teams.
All clues, challenges and puzzles were provided via smart phone through the Internet. Students were allowed to use other smart phones to do research, Google facts, even use Map Quest. Because the clues ran the gamut from math puzzles to word searches, from cyphers to word scrambles, from picture puzzles to find what's missing problems, a variety of thinking processes were used. With a team of 4 to 5 students, the odds were good that one person would figure out the puzzle. This type of interactive learning kept the students engaged in the topic at hand. Interspersed among the puzzles and challenges were Urban Questology, facts, history, or local trivia about Dallas, which made sure the students learned something about the city they are visiting as they played the game. The game also provided recommendations for places to eat, grab a quick drink or where to find restrooms.
"My class had an absolute blast in completing the Urban Adventure Quest in Dallas. We got to see interesting things in the downtown Dallas area that we would have never seen if not for the Quest. My students said it was one of the most fun things we did on our trip," said Kevin Matsunaga, teacher, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School
Interactive field trips that engage all the students make going on a field trip a whole new experience.
Check out http://www.UrbanAdventureQuest.com to find out more. Quests are available in 13 cities--Atlanta, Boston, Catalina Island, Dallas, Hollywood, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Vancouver, BC, and Washington, DC. Quests are perfect for interactive field trips, family adventures, teambuilding experiences, tourists, locals and just plain fun.