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Science and Tech Trek Activity 7:
Media Scavenger Hunt

Activity Objective: Girls gain awareness of how math skills and concepts apply to their daily lives.

Toward Leadership Outcomes:

Through this activity, girls will:

  • Gain practical life skills—Girls have increased confidence in their ability to succeed in math and science. (Discover)

Experience Overview:

  • 2 min. Introduction (Talking Points)
  • 20-30 min. Media Scavenger Hunt
  • 15-20 min. Do I Really?
  • 5-10 min. Reflection/Discussion

Supplies Needed:

  • Paper and pens or pencils (enough for each girl)
  • Markers or colored pencils (enough for each girl)
  • Teen magazines and local newspapers that can be written on
    (if possible, enough for half the group)

Prepare Ahead:

  • Gather teen magazines and local newspapers that can be written on—you can ask girls to bring in their own favorites!
  • Make copies of the "Media Scavenger Hunt" handout. (Click here for "Media Scavenger Hunt" handout.)
  • Read over the entire activity before meeting with girls.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

» Introduction (Talking Points) (2 minutes)

  • Say something like this: "Sometimes the subjects we learn in school can feel like they have nothing to do with us or are not relevant to our own lives. How many times have you maybe thought, 'Why do I have to learn this anyway?' Today's game is about discovering the many ways math, and understanding basic math concepts, is part of our everyday lives."

» Media Scavenger Hunt (20-30 minutes)

  • Separate the girls into pairs (or small groups).
  • Distribute markers or colored pencils.
  • Distribute copies of teen magazines and local newspapers (if possible, one of each to each pair).
  • Give each pair a copy of the "Media Scavenger Hunt" handout.
  • Explain to girls: "You have 20 minutes to find the most items on this list in your magazine and/or newspaper." (If necessary, review the list to clarify terms such as chart, graph, or table) "When you find an item, circle it and put the correct number (from the list) next to it. The pair or group with the most found items wins the scavenger hunt. Ready, set, go!"

» Do I Really? (15-20 minutes)

If the girls are separated into pairs, combine them to create small groups.

  • Distribute paper and pens or pencils to each group.
  • Explain to girls: "Now that we see that math is all around us, let's figure out if we really use math in our own everyday lives. On your paper, come up with a list of 10 ways that you have used math (arithmetic or things from the scavenger hunt list) in your own lives in the past few days outside of school. Think of every moment or detail in your day—where you went, who you interacted with. You have about three minutes for this activity." (Examples: figure out how much time you have left, divide a sandwich into quarters, count money for change.)
  • Solicit answers from girls aloud.

» Reflection/Discussion (5 minutes)

Ask girls:

  • "Do you enjoy doing math, or is math anyone's favorite subject? Why or why not?"
  • "What math skills are you presently learning in school? How can they be applied to your everyday life?"
  • "Why do you think so many of the highest paying careers require a good knowledge of math?"