Unicorns, Prototypes and Deeps Dives…Oh My!

We had a full day of orientation activities today in preparation for our Surprise Road Trip tomorrow.

Our first activities channeled our creativity. As a team, we came up with a page-turning story about trees that climbed buildings to eat bananas in pajamas with dancing monkeys. (Coming soon to a store near you!) We then discovered the “unicorns on our heads” as we took on the challenge of telling an improvised story for 5 minutes without stopping.

After learning about our unicorns, we practiced “design thinking,” an innovation process developed at Stanford University that allows us to identify customer needs and rapidly prototype solutions. Our task was to revolutionize international travel by designing a product that met our partner’s travel needs. At our “investor fair,” a virtual reality hotel touring glasses, an app to ease airport security, a robot helper and an endlessly flying airplane were among the revolutionary solutions for tomorrow’s travel.

(Prototypes from our design thinking session)

In the afternoon, we headed to the beach to do a diversity walk. The activity was a heavy one and we appreciated some silent reflection time on the beach before discussing the experience. After picking up a few things for our apartment, we returned home for a homemade dinner of stuffed grape leaves. We spent the evening doing deep dives, where every team member had the opportunity to share the story of how they ended up here (in their lives and on our team today). We are now finishing the packing for tomorrow.

In the morning, we will be leaving at 5a.m. for an approximately 10 hour team road trip to a surprise destination. The trip will wrap up our orientation so that we can start our teacher training and family support programs as soon as we return. Can you guess where we are going?

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