I feel like this isn't the best place to ask this (since there's no single right answer), but I can't think of a better place. If you have a better recommendation, could you please recommend it and I can move the question rather than just having it closed outright?
I'm teaching a class of high-school students about general Linux security. At a high level I want them to be able to take a given Linux server and know how to harden it against common security issues - e.g. closing old accounts, using a strong pw hashing algorithm, make sure no strange processes are running or run at boot. Their skill-level is a broad range, and I'm looking for ways to motivate them to use what we've been discussing (e.g. look at crontab; look at users and group configurations; look at open ports).
I have been given $200 to hold a competition to encourage them, and I thought maybe I could purchase a bunch of Amazon gift cards in $10 increments. The idea would be to "hide" the redemption codes in various places on our sandbox server for the kids to find. For example, I could store the passwords in plaintext, and have one of the example user accounts assigned a password of one of the codes. Or maybe I could set up a cron job to log one of the codes to a system log every 30 seconds.
What I'm looking for is places/methods to hide these codes such that someone looking to secure the server would stumble across them.