Monday, January 26, 2009

So what was the Big Trip???

After having returned a couple of weeks ago from it, I can tell you.

It was a college orientation. No, I not going back to school (though some have suggested it to me) - this is an orientation that I took part in. And there were many things that made this a special event....

1. This orientation was for a college that hasn't opened yet. Located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) is scheduled to open this fall. The first class of graduate students met for the first time at an event called "Discover KAUST," which is what I was involved in. 

2. LEGO was used in teambuilding exercises, both for groups and down to the individual level, using LEGO Serious Play and LEGO MINDSTORMs sets and projects. For me it was the first time I have seen either done on such a large scale (approximately 300 students)

3. I was one of the press pool - originally I was slated to be a facilitator, but my camera won out:-). There were some other community people who stepped up to be facilitators (MINDSTORMs people) as well as others. Facilitators came from Taiwan, Denmark, Germany, the US, and Egypt, and the coordinators were from Sweden and France. I was a truly international gathering that reflected the students participating.

While the event itself happened over a week, our part was only two days. But the impact lasted, which is really nice to know.

The event opened my eyes a little bit more to other cultures and people. ANd also opened my eyes to what the brick and NXT can do beyond building.

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