An illustrated mosaic of Star Trek characters

When Star Trek meets Lake Street

Puzzle hunt raises funds for Minneapolis neighborhood

University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering junior David Ha is bringing his love of puzzle hunts to the public with a new Star Trek-themed game called The Final Frontier. 

Ha, a computer science major, created the free, intro-level puzzle hunt—similar to a virtual escape room—over the course of a month. 

The official hunt ran from June 6-14, 2020, but The Final Frontier is still available for playing. So far, more than 150 puzzles have been solved and Ha has raised more than $1,200 to benefit the We Love Lake Street Recovery Fund.

Following the death of George Floyd, Ha pledged to donate $1 per puzzle solved during the hunt to help rebuild Lake Street. He urged participants to make the same pledge.

Ha was overwhelmed by positive feedback from his participants and sees the hunt as a success.

“Solving these puzzles really brought a lot of people closer together with their friends that they haven’t had contact with in a long time,” he said. “[Connecting virtually] totally changes when there’s something to work on together, it’s a really rewarding experience to have with people.”

The Final Frontier puzzles are all available to play here.

Story by Kathryn Richner

If you’d like to support students in the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering, visit our CSE Giving website.