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Kids Race across Beijing

April, 2008
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Do you know how busy and crowded the public transportation system in Beijing is?   After a sweating half day of shuttling across downtown Beijing, children from six international schools in Beijing might have found out a concrete answer to that question.amz-race

On April 15, some 40 school children accompanied by their teachers or parents took part in the 3rd annual Grade 2 Amazing Race organized by Beijing BISS International School. The other participating schools includes Beanstalk International Bilingual School, Canadian International School of Beijing (CIS), the British School of Beijing, Dulwich College Beijing and Yew Chung International School of Beijing. The children were divided into 17 teams, each consisting of 3 to 5 kids plus one or two adults.  

Each team had to go through four check points scattered in the city where they were given certain tasks to do. For example, at the Dongzhimen Long-distance Bus Station, they were asked to test how serious the pollution cars are producing by covering the exhaustion pipe of the cars with a white sock.   The teams were also encouraged to carry out activities like asking people why they prefer certain means of transportation and taking pictures of various vehicles. These activities were “bonus activities” that could help them obtain more “points” in the competition.  

After around 4 hours adventure, one of the BISS teams won the “Fleet Feet” Award by completing the whole journey with the shortest time. The BSB Sanlitun team and a Dulwich team jointly got the “Most Points” Award. And the other Dulwich team received the “Best Display” Award with an excellent design of the roadmap using pictures, tickets, receipts and maps.   The CIS team led by teachers Jill MacRae and Charles Wu won the “Cheapskates” Award by spending the least amount of money during their journey.  

“We feel very excited (to win the award). But I am sorry to keep them so tired. We just walked long way,” said Wu. Well, to Zayan, a girl of the CIS team, said she would like to try more in the future since she had never taken the subway in Beijing before.   The event was initiated by Ben Cooperman, the BISS Grade 2 teacher three years ago with the aim to help young kids better understand the transportation system in Beijing, which is, in Ben’s view, a big part of the local culture.  

“A lot of children in international schools actually live quite isolated lives and don’t have the opportunity to really see the people and the culture in Beijing,” Ben said.

 

 By Qin Chuan

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