Urban Hiking Mystery Adventure

Urban Hiking: Piquing curiosity about the urban environment though direct engagement with the terrain and puzzle creation and solving.

Photo of Cole Godvin
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In order to get students integrating with their surroundings beyond campus Nueva has opened up a section of "Urban Hiking" for PE credit. To awaken students' curiosity about the urban environment in which our school is located students have identified various landmarks and tagged each landmarks GPS.  They have also invented a mystery which must be solved with clues and information gathered at the various landmarks -- the clues are arranged in order that each clue leads the puzzle solver to the next landmark until they arrive at a Grand Finale/Final Twist. On the last day the class meets the Urban Hiking mystery makers will invite teams of fellow students to walk through the course, learn about the environment and various landmarks and solve the puzzle. The winners will get a surprise!

How does this idea help to spark student curiosity?

Students are often so busy they are inured to the urban environment around them. This project encourages students to explore their surroundings and think about their school's relationship, geographical, historically, economically and ecologically to the surrounding area -- all while having fun with narrative problem solving.

What grade level is this idea most appropriate for?

  • High School (9-12)

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Photo of Les McBeth
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Great idea! Encouraging place-based education is a wonderful way for students to shift their perspective on where they live and I find it sparks curiosity naturally. I'd love to hear more about how the course is set up. I teach a course in Urban Planning and Design and this would be a great interdisciplinary approach to the course. Thanks for sharing!

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