Last week, RaiseMe team members from across campus came together to participate in our first IncludeMe workshop. With 15 minutes on the clock, teams were tasked with creating a safety-basket secure enough to be dropped from the staircase without breaking their egg. A throwback to our high school physics classes, teams got creative as they soon realized that not every team had the same set of resources to protect their egg. When we called time, teams waited eagerly to see which egg would survive the “college application process” (read: being dropped from the stairs). As our eggs attempted to take flight, it was clear which stood the best chance of successfully surviving the drop and which did not.
Why an egg drop?
As back-to-school season continues, we felt it would be fitting to put ourselves in the shoes of our students to build empathy and better understand the unique challenges they face. Our egg drop activity represented a lighthearted attempt to capture a small glimpse into the disparities students experience while navigating the college application process. We highlighted the disparities students are born into by giving each team different resources to build their safety-baskets. Some disparities were small, others were drastic. Afterwards, we explored what it means to have access to the resources that best position students to succeed, and we reflected together on ways to expand it.
Engaging in conversation with our team-mates about educational inequities was illuminating. Many of us gained a greater understanding of the challenges students navigate through the college application process as we attempted to build deeper empathy with the students we hope to serve, all while having fun!
Our staff walked away understanding that every student has diverse experiences when applying to college and that it is important to take account of these experiences when supporting them.
Overall, this was a great learning experience and we are excited to continue the IncludeMe Series in the future!
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