Poolesville Art Teacher Creatively Challenges Students with Virtual Easter Egg Hunt


Throughout the school year, art teacher Mr. Cameron Petke has been hiding virtual “easter eggs,” and students could find them through a series of clues. These clues took many forms, as students could find clues sandwiched within class modules, through hints during lectures, and camouflaged in assignments. The challenge has been a creative way for his Ceramics, AP 3D Design, and AP Drawing students to engage in class content, especially during virtual learning.

Students could find some of these virtual easter eggs in class modules.

“They may be little symbols near an important bit of content, a Main Lesson link I was hoping you’d click on to learn more about one of our Artists-in-Focus, or even something invisible that you could accidentally uncover just by being extra curious,” Petke hinted.

In fact, one student discovered an easter egg by highlighting invisible text in a class module. He encouraged students to keep their ears open during class. “Verbal clues about where to look were also given in every one of my intros, lectures, or demos,” he explained.

Before MCPS closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Petke hid five to ten art-inspired easter eggs around the building. “They look like ‘out of place’ items, colorful cards with messages on them, or even a displayed work of art with a secret,” Petke said in a class announcement after students found his first virtual egg after six weeks.

“If a student discovered one (either by chance or by innate curiosity), the clue informed them that they won a prize,” he elaborated.

The prize? Over the years, Petke has rewarded egg seekers with dozens of cups, bowls, mugs, and various ceramics. But these big-ticket items are notably difficult to find, as many of Petke’s easter eggs have remained undiscovered in the school building from the previous year.

Petke’s students have responded positively to the challenge. “I think the egg hunts are a unique way Mr. Petke keeps everyone active because they require you to pay attention to small details in the live zooms and class modules that you would’ve never noticed before,” AP Drawing student Claudia Colon Del Valle said.

She also mentioned how the clues have been a way to teach content. “[Mr. Petke] also includes some clues that are informative so you get to learn new things along the way as well,” she explained.

Mr. Petke’s students have worked hard to discover easter eggs through the first semester and into the second. They must keep their eyes peeled, as Petke keeps challenging his students. “I may even start hiding them in other teachers’ content,” he even warned.