Standing at the foot of the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, several small groups of teenagers huddled together, waiting in anticipation for the race to begin.
There was no stopwatch. No one yelled for people to get on their marks. The buzz of energy that seems to permeate the moments before any competition was in the air, but the feeling of comradery proved to be stronger.
The students, a mix of Democracy Prep Charter High seniors and juniors visiting from DPCH’s South Korean sister school, Seondeok Girls High School, were preparing to compete in “DP Amazing Race”, Democracy Prep’s Manhattan-centered version of the popular television show. In April, the DPCH scholars visited Korea and Seondeok where they participated in a similar activity as they depicted in their Tumblr travel journal.
For the New York edition, the students were given a set of 20 missions that included “Doing an Egyptian dance in the Temple of Dendur” and striking a famous pose from the movie, Home Alone, outside of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Each team checked in with Sophie Lee, International Programs Manager for Democracy Prep. They were tasked with sending pictures of themselves completing the missions via the popular Korean app, KaKao, which is similar to What’s App.
Weaving their way through the museum, and then through upper and midtown Manhattan, the scholars spent three hours completing missions, snapping pictures, and experiencing the sights and sounds that define New York City.
“It was funny because in the first pictures they looked really bright and energetic, and then in the last pictures they looked so tired,” Lee laughs. “They had been running around, and you could just see the difference, but they had a lot of fun.”
In addition to gaining points for completing missions, the teams could win awards for having the best pictures, the most adventures, and for spending the least of their $100 budget.
“There was a clear winner,” Lee says. “This group checked off every mission and spent the least amount of money. They made it back to Bryant Park before the chaperones!”
Travel the DP Amazing Race Route!
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