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Scavenger hunt to tweak public’s interest in research


Toronto, ON – Ontario universities are launching a Virtual Scavenger Hunt that will take the public on an intriguing online journey through the world of research at the province’s 21 publicly assisted universities.

The month-long contest, which begins February 3, is open to students and the general public. The Council of Ontario Universities (COU), which is organizing the effort, says contestants can solve new clues every day to enter for prizes. Intrepid scavengers who get all 21 clues correct will be able to unlock a secret message which they can submit to be entered for grand prizes.

Students from each of the participating universities will deliver daily video clues via email to registered contestants whose answers can be hunted down online. Clues will also be available on the Research Matters website.

“We hope the public will play and enjoy the Virtual Scavenger Hunt,” says Max Blouw, COU chair and president of Wilfrid Laurier University. “It’s a fun puzzle that will open the window to some truly fascinating research going on at Ontario universities – research that is transforming lives for the better.”

The puzzle – part of COU’s Research Matters campaign to raise awareness about Ontario university research – was designed by University of Toronto student and enigmatologist Stacy Costa.

“We made the puzzle challenging enough to keep it interesting, but players don’t need any specialized knowledge to solve the clues,” says Costa. “I think anyone who plays even one or two of the daily clues will find themselves drawn into competing for the grand prizes.”

Research Matters will be giving away prizes to clue solvers every day, as well as 21 grand prizes of a Research Matters gift bag with clothes, puzzle books and more. In addition, university students will be eligible for five cash prizes of $500 each.

“The public will be amazed when they discover some of the research that our universities are conducting,” says Bonnie M. Patterson, COU president and CEO. “The Virtual Scavenger Hunt will put a spotlight on 21 fascinating research projects, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. We hope that as a result of this contest, Ontarians will take new pride in the research going on in their own province.”

Click here to register, view the Virtual Scavenger Hunt video trailer, and read more about the Scavenger Hunt.