Challenge: A Boston based university identified a need for recognizing and fostering the importance of interdisciplinary learning and hoped to enhance the opportunity to participants in civic engagement.
TrainingPath put together a program that would allow incoming honor students an opportunity to get to know each other better while jump starting and moving forward with their goals of enhanced learning and community engagement. A full-day program, highlighted by a three-activity rotation that would have students work in a variety of fun, interactive challenges while establishing rapport and academic community enhancement.
Participants had the opportunity to accelerate the orientation process and explore concepts and skills that have benefited them throughout the freshman year and beyond. This university has repeated this program with incoming honors students for several consecutive years and it has also translated into workshops for several other university groups.
The first activity station had groups divided up into small sub-teams and given a task called “Universico”. Initially, this activity seems a bit chaotic and overwhelming (much like college life) with over 240 props involved! A fast-paced activity with a scoring system and multiple rounds, students needed to establish roles and coordinate responsibilities within their mini group in order to surpass their previous score in each consecutive round. As the energy of the group and their ability to work as a team increased, process improvement and a fostered sense of community and common purpose emerged!
The second activity station took place on a high ropes course called The Giant’s Ladder – an intricate climb where 3 team members, strapped into highly secure safety systems attempt to help each other up a series of boards to get as high off the ground as they want to challenge themselves (up to 30 feet!). Group members had the option of setting their own goals (even if it was to keep both feet on the ground) but needed to support their team members on the ground through a team belay system where they were responsible, with a trained ropes course staff member, for their team members safety. This provided a great activity to encourage people to move outside their comfort zone and be encouraged and supported by their fellow incoming freshman.
The third activity station was an opportunity for people to work in small teams in a fun, highly interactive challenge called “Teaming at Light Speed”. In this energizing activity group members are required to think fast on their feet working through answering a variety of trivia questions and working through team activities as quickly as possible; all while moving around a large oversized game board up to 50 feet across!