QR Code Scavenger Hunt Upgrade: QR Code QUEST #edtech

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Photo by Lafayette College.

Flickr Photo by Lafayette College (2011)

QR code scavenger hunts are nothing new. Just Google it, and you wiIl find some great resources. In fact, I’ve written about how to use the QR code scavenger hunt to introduce characters for the Crucible. I’ve also written how to use QR codes to create a crime scene (particularly for Huck Finn). Plus, the creativity and use of QR codes by other teachers are endless.

However, when it was my turn to work with Jason Martin-Heiner on creating an ice-breaker activity for our fellow colleagues at the Keystone AEA, we decided to amp up the Scavenger Hunt idea and make it more of a Quest!

Follow the codes…

The purpose was to send the staff (made up of 7 groups of 3) to various areas of our agency. At each area, they would have to find a QR code on a piece of colored paper that represents their team color. When they scan the code, a YouTube video of me would give them a clue (cleverly written in rhyming form by Jason) to the next location. However, they would need to collect all of the QR codes as they continued for a surprise at the end.

The Steps…

We had to follow these steps:

  1. Jason wrote each clue that directed them to a certain part of the building – 6 total.
  2. I recorded myself at each location but gave them the clue to the next location.
  3. I uploaded all videos to my YouTube account. Here’s an example video.
  4. Once uploaded, I then created QR codes for each video using the website www.qrstuff.com.
  5. I put all six QR codes on one side of a sheet of paper.
  6. On the backside was a large QR code for their final question that they had to answer back at the starting point.

    QR Code Quest2

    Front side of the colored sheet.

    Scan each code to see the video 🙂

    QR Code Quest

    Backside of the colored sheet.

  7. Printed off two-sided on seven different colored sheets.
  8. Cut each sheet into 6 pieces.
  9. Sorted them into piles, making sure that ALL clue #1 was in the same pile and the same for the rest.
  10. Randomly hung up all 7 colors of clue #1 in the first area. Did the same in the other areas.
  11. Participants use their mobile devices and a QR code scanner app to begin the scavenger hunt.

Taking it to the Next Level…

Once they have collected all six of their team’s colored codes, they had to return to the original room and piece all six together to form one big QR code that revealed their final question. They had to tell us their answer. Prizes were offered for placings.

Jason and I didn’t want each group of three to go to the area and simply scan someone else’s code and move on. This format forces them to find their color code and collect all of them. If they leave it behind, they have to go back and get it.


  • Hide the codes in plain site. I tried to get creative with where they were hidden (up high, down low), but each was not hidden behind or in something.
  • Have fun with the videos. Because Jason and I had a short amount of time to prepare this, I simply just recorded the videos with my laptop. I wish I would have made each one more unique.
  • Get tricky with the big QR code. Again, because of time, I just slapped the last code on the back and cut where it was convenient. I wish I would have tried to be more tricky with how the pieces could be put together in order to give it more of a puzzle feel.

Final Thoughts…

The activity was fun to prepare and watch. Not to mention, my colleagues said it was fun to participate.

Jason came up with a great idea of doing the same format for New Employee Training next year. With each video, we would include information that they need to know about the agency. What better way for new employees to self-explore and learn?!

Post in the comments below other ideas you may have to use a QR Code Quest with your students?

Jarod Bormann
#EdTech Rocks


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