Summer Connections: The Amazing Race

The Amazing Race

Vision: This is the most intense and the most difficult event of the team challenges. We wanted to do two things: 1.) We wanted to amp up the difficulty and really put pressure on students to deal with each other. 2.) We wanted students to have a common experience.

Implementation: When I created this event, I spent about two hours walking all around our campus and just writing down observations. I was looking for things that were findable, interesting, and precise.

Event: There are four stages to this event:

Stage 1: Presentation

Go over the rules with the entire group. The penalties are listed in time. When a teacher observes a team breaking the rules, the students have to sit down for the penalty. Students and their mentors sit down wherever the infraction occurs.

The Rules of the Amazing Race

  1. Safety is #1 – Do not run. (3-minute penalty)

  2. Do not touch any equipment or furniture in the hallways or cross any barriers to get to an area. (3-minute penalty) (This is in regard to custodial equipment and cleaning that happens in the summer.)

  3. You must always be connected to your group by the string. Always! (3-minute penalty each time.)

  4. The Mentor must never hold/touch the list of questions. (3 minute penalty each time.) This wrinkle transfers power to the freshmen and forces the mentor to delegate.

  5. You will be given six copies of the questions.

  6. You will turn in only one copy of questions.

  7. Overheard negative comments, (3-minute penalty)  

  8. Every freshman must have at least one sheet of the questions at all times. (1 minute penalty.) Again, forces all to be involved. 

  9. You must return to the Little Theater by the required time. (-5 points off your team total)

  10. Have fun! Embrace the challenge!

Stage 2: Planning

Once the rules have been explained, students are sent to classrooms where they can tie up and make a plan for how they will tackle this challenge.

Stage 3: Play

Students are dismissed over the intercom. Tied together with string, the students enter the hallways and begin The Amazing Race.

Below are a sampling of questions that we use:

Rubbing from E121 (Our classroom numbers are raised and so with the use of a crayon and a piece of paper students can take a rubbing of any room number.)How many rows of bleachers are there at the track?How many state championships are posted in the main gym?What room is closest to locker E1090?Mr. ____________’s  signature (One of the teachers of Connections)How many panels of glass are in the Grand Staircase and the railing (all the way around balcony)What month was the fire extinguisher in D-wing by the water machines checked?There is a mountain that is 28,250 ft. It is also written on the outside of the building. What door is to the right of it? (Our exits are lettered. The answer to this question is K2.)What is the phone # on Door D?How long is A-wing hallway? (Green doors to Glass doors)Find the memorial to George McGovern – Do RubbingHow many bike racks are near the student of the month parking places?What kind of nets do they have on the tennis courts?What does it say on A157? Do a rubbing.What room is closest to Exit U?How many benches are outside Exit P?How many front doors are there?How many cubic feet are in a locker?Transport all balls across gym. (Using scooters and 20 basketballs, students must carry all the basketballs across the stage while sitting on scooters. If one basketball hits the ground, the whole team must start over. This is very frustrating and worth a lot of points.)What does it say on A143? Do a rubbing.Get a custodian’s signature. Have them print and sign their name.What year was this building built?How many guest parking places are there?English Teacher’s SignatureWhat picture is near the registrar’s office door?Return to the Little Theater five minutes early.Say “I love Connections!” to a teacher in the first 5 minutes of the race.How many steps in the Grand Staircase?How many seats are in the Little Theater?

Stage 4: Process

After all students return to our little theater, we process the event.

What was you level of frustration during this event? (Student hold up fingers 1 – 5 to show their level of frustration.)

How does this activity connect with high school?

Why is this a good activity to include in Connections in order to prepare students for high school?

The answers to the questions are remarkable. Student get the connection. They realize that high school will be challenging and the awareness that they demonstrate is always remarkable and enjoyable.