After a semester of contemplation and figuring out the details, I’m finally launching my “You Are What You Eat!” Scavenger Hunt at three local Wegmans stores (I chose them based on where my students shop). Today, I activated Canandaigua Wegmans hunt. Tomorrow evening, the Geneva Wegmans hunt will be activated (I just have to stop in there and take note of aisle locations of products), and later this week Holt Rd (Webster) will be live too.
Here’s how it works:
Using this great program online, called SCVNGR, I developed a trek inside the grocery store (Wegmans) for my college nutrition students. We’ve been learning about how to read and interpret food labels, so all the clues are related to this topic.
For the Canandaigua hunt, the student will text the name of the hunt (cawegmans) to 728647 and then wait for a response. Texts with the name of the hunt, location inside the store of the first clue, and then the first clue are received within seconds.
Then, the student finds the location (i.e. meat department), reads the clue text, finds the answer, and then replies to the text with the answer. If the correct answer is given, the next location/clue is sent. If the answer is incorrect, the student can send another reply (until she/he gets it right).
Each student is emailing me his/her phone number (not because I’m going to call them!), because when I login to SCVNGR I can see their progress on the trek. They can also start at one time and finish another time/day if they need to. But I don’t think it will take too long. There are 14 clues, and I provided all the department/aisle names so it wouldn’t turn into a wild goose chase!
The ultimate goal is for them to explore the contents of food in ways they might not normally think of. For example, in one clue, I ask them to verify whether or not a breakfast cereal contains trans fat, and for another they have to compare 4 brands of the same product to determine which brand has the highest fiber content. We’re also exploring things like unit price, sodium content, and use of sweeteners.
Once we meet back in class next week, we’ll go over the clues/answers and do some comparisons and contemplations (Does “organic” really mean “healthier,” etc.?). I’ll also be able to refer back to this information during future units throughout the course.
What do you think? Would you like this class assignment or would it be annoying to have to do something outside of class in the grocery store?!
If you’re not in my class but you’re local, you can still do the hunt (SCVNGR calls them Treks). I’ll post the codes and info for the other three stores later this week.
Note: SCVNGR is a great platform that is being used in cities and at universities nationwide—for fun and for learning new things. Check where you live and see if there are any treks you can do! If you do treks, you can often end up winning free stuff, like coupons, free coffee, etc.
If you’re one of my new friends from the Finger Lakes Wellness Fair this past weekend, thanks for stopping by! I’m going to post all of the recipes I used for the food demos later this week. You can find the smoothie recipes by clicking on the Ultimate Smoothies tab above and the peanut butter protein balls (J Balls!) here.