AESS students compete in an ‘amazing race’ around lower B.C.

Teacher organizes race covering 800 km of ground

Agassiz Elementary Secondary School students were given the graduation gift of a lifetime by their dedicated sciences teacher Leonard Naimi.

Naimi spent half a year planning an “amazing race” that took Grade 11 and 12 students through seven cities and 800 km of B.C. experiences over three days and two nights.

Naimi has been teaching in Agassiz for three years and his “amazing races” have been growing with time. Based on the CBS Amazing Race TV show, where contestants race around the world for a cash prize, Naimi’s first race for students was around Agassiz only.

Naimi does smaller races for the younger grades and saves the big race for the students closer to graduation.

“I do it to give the students a chance to work in small teams of four or five to develop team work skills, communication skills, skills that they’re going to use when they leave high school,” Naimi said.

“I know not everyone is going to go into chemistry, sciences or math, but these skills that they learn on the race are skills that they’re going to use in whatever career path they choose afterwards.

“It’s also a fun thing for them to do – something for them to remember when they leave high school.”

Over three jam-packed days, students used cars, trains, SeaBuses and ferries to race from location to location, completing challenges to receive clues from on-site staff so they would know where to head next.

The first day of challenges gave students a variety of experiences, including the Grouse Mountain skyride, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Flyover Canada and even a Canucks game.

The second day included dragon boat racing in False Creek, challenges at UBC, a trip to the Olympic Oval in Richmond, go-karting and finally a ferry to Vancouver Island for the last day.

On day three, students headed to Nanaimo, where they did the “Primal Swing” bungee jump, with WildPlay Element Parks opening off-season exclusively for the challenge.

“They loved it,” Naimi said. “It’s quite a unique experience for them so they know it when they’re doing it.”

This year’s winners received a $200 prepaid Visa card.

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While their challenges still need to be verified, the first team to finish the three-day ‘amazing race’ gave an enthusiastic pose at the B.C. Parliament Buildings in Victoria, where they completed the race. Submitted

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