Bonus Challenges

This summer’s Brain Chase features weekly reading, writing, and math challenges—plus one bonus challenge each week in another subject like geography, history, art, or science. Season Two of Brain Chase begins at 9am Eastern on Monday, June 22, 2015. If you accept the challenge, you’ll be required to solve a bonus challenge each week.

Last year’s students were required to complete three virtual challenges:


  • Google Sky—This challenge involved identifying specific celestial constellations using the Google Sky application.
  • Smithsonian Museum Virtual Tour—Students were required to complete a virtual scavenger hunt for hidden objects within the Smithsonian.
  • Google Art Project—Students were asked to examine specific works of art to identify similarities and patterns.

The other three challenges were offline, physical challenges:

PicMonkey Collage

  • Decoder Ring—We mailed each participant a solid metal decoder ring along with a cryptic message to decode.
  • Compass—Students also received a separate package containing a brass compass, which they used to complete an orienteering exercise.
  • Mystery Project—Students were surprised to find seeds in the mail! Once they planted the seeds and watered them, plants began to grow with secret messages on the leaves. No, really.

One hint: Pay close attention to the weekly bonus challenges. They may teach a few critical skills that will help you find the buried treasure.

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Learn about the treasure hunt here.