Friday, March 4th: Travel to Ann Arbor
Today we got to wake up a lot later than we normally did. I packed the night before, so I could have woken up 10 minutes before we planned to leave, but I still ended up waking up early.
The plan was to leave at 9 am, but we ended up leaving around 9:15 because the other hotel room took longer to get ready to leave. In the short time my room was waiting in the hotel lobby to leave, Michelle managed to have a mini-nap right next to the fireplace.
The drive back to Ann Arbor was uneventful, at least it was for my car. The other car somehow was misrouted by their GPS, and ended up back at the hotel 8 minutes after initially leaving. Other than that, we managed to safely get to a McDonalds, before heading all the way back to Ann Arbor. When we were at McDonalds, some of us tried the Shamrock Shake, and it tasted like toothpaste, good toothpaste. Michelle also unfortunately learned that McDonald french fries are in fact not vegan since they are fried in beef fat.
Reflections of our trip:
Stacey (ASB Officer): In running the activities and presentations, I learned that I can be
comfortable engaging in new situations. Previously, I hadn’t helped out at an outreach event to this scale before, so I didn’t really know what to expect. Through preparation and working with others, I was able to feel more comfortable about leading activities. In working with others, I learned that we have different knowledge bases, which could help us explain certain portions of an activity better. This was helpful when we split up who would talk about what part. This experience reinforced my conceptualizations of service and community engagement by applying knowledge gained from the Ginsberg workshops and advising sessions. I was aware that I was working with students who had different backgrounds and experiences from me, and learned how to take that into account with my language and actions when I was interacting with the students.
Garima (ASB Officer): Through this trip, I learned that I am capable of thinking on my feet. The first few periods on the first day were a little bit of a trial and error for us as we did not know exactly how the activities would go over with the students. However, as we ran them I was able to notice the problem areas in the activities and fix them on the spot. We also came up with ways to keep the students more engaged on the spot which was really fun. I learned that I work well in a team setting. Through the whole planning phase and the trip, it was nice to be able to bounce ideas off of each other. This made all of the activities well thought out. This experience reinforced the ideas that the Ginsberg Center taught us about community engagement. I personally saw how my own identity and experiences shaped my viewpoint and I was cognizant of that fact while interacting with students. The skills I learned through my other campus organizations helped me while I was presenting. I was able to project my voice and many of the teachers even complimented me on my presentation skills.
Vibha (Participant): In this trip, I was able to reflect and gain a better understanding of my
personal identities and experiences and how they were able to bring me to the place I am at today. I grew up in a wealthy area with more opportunities and encouragement to pursue STEM fields from an early age. I also learned that because of this role, I had never thought about the obstacles that many other people had to face due to their identities and backgrounds. Events like ASB really provide a space for kids to discover their own interests in STEM and pursue them, just as I had. ASB realy reinforced in me the importance of outreach and engagement in the community. By going out and working with other students, we are able to open opportunities for learning in them and ourselves and create futures that may not have been possible before. Through this trip, I also learned the importance of teaching and teaching methods. Not every
student learns the same way, nor do they work the same way. Working with my fellow University of Michigan students as well as the highschool students at Lindblom really opened my eyes to the creativity that can be achieved with an open mind and good energy. The best sessions I had were when I was excited to learn and share ideas as well as keep an open mind to the different ideas shared.
Participant 2: I learned that I'm good at thinking on the fly and being adaptable to changing
situations. I was able to come up with different icebreakers and mini activities to do to get the students more involved when it seemed like they were checking out. I learned that it's okay to lean on each other's strengths. For me, it's always been emphasized that you need to work on your weaknesses, so actually drawing on your strengths and others' is a new concept to me. I went to high school in a wealthy area, so when I volunteered, I was volunteering with kids who had a lot of resources and privileges available to them. This experience showed me that when volunteering, it's important to prioritize service in communities that not may not have had access to those kinds of resources and opportunities. This experience reinforced my organizational skills, which I've gained through my life experience. It also challenged my public speaking skills. Generally, I've always been a little nervous when talking to people, so leading activities for high schoolers was an opportunity for growth for me.
Additionally, we wanted to extend a huge thanks to Aptiv, Intel, Barr, and the Ginsberg Center for their financial support, Bryan Enochs and Mariah Fiumara for all their help during and before the trip, and Lindblom Math and Science Academy and Nick Anaya for hosting us and planning our schedule.