Hi <<First Name>>,

It's Katie this week, coming to you live from hot and steamy Detroit, Michigan. First, I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge that Summer is here and while I'm wishing everyone across the network a fun-filled holiday weekend, I'm also hoping that our friends in the Pacific Northwest are staying healthy and safe in the face of this unprecedented heatwave.

Summer at DFA National means ample time to spend with our treasured partner, the YMCA. The 2021 season is shaping up to be an exciting one for our participants, remarkable youth Changemakers, calling in from around the country.  

I have been thinking about the workshop Glory and I led at this year's Design Forge as our Summer learning community has begun to take shape. In our workshop on Building + Testing, Glory and I discussed the radical vulnerability practiced by designers and their partners who join forces to think through big issues and come up with even bigger solutions. We suggested to our students, that a fantastic way to create a rich and open learning environment is through the tried and true DFA practice of icebreakers! 

Do you have a summer group that could use some teaming? Read on for icebreakers dreamed up by our incredible summer Design Coach staff. 

Stay cool and safe,
Katie + the DFA Team

The DFA National summer team is lucky enough to include Kate Rose, Junhee Chung and Sparkle Whitaker, three dedicated educators who are serving as as Design Coaches for the YMCA program. They are at the helm of the Changemakers' transformative educational experience rooted in design thinking.

They got our summer learning sessions started with three creative and fun icebreakers. Check them out below for some team building inspiration!

3 Prompts + Essence Game
with Sparkle Whitaker

The 3 prompt question icebreaker gives people a chance to pick 3 interesting questions to share more about themselves in a breakout room. When the large group reunites, a few participants are encouraged to share what they learned about their small group!

The Essence Game is essentially an extension of the 3 prompt question icebreaker and puts us the large group in a position of guessing information about each other. There's the possibly that we'll be wrong, but the fun of the game is seeing the imagination and responses from everyone for questions such as, "what Tik Tok sound would this person be?"

Storytime with Kate Rose

Storytime centers collaborative storytelling to build creative trust. Teams of 3-4 were given the following images - including a pair of roller-skates, a magical sewing machine, Wasabi the show dog, and the horoscope section of a newspaper - and encouraged to incorporate them into a story. After ideating as a group and creating visual presentations, the teams shared their compelling narratives with the group!
Same, Same, Different, Different with Junhee Chung

The purpose of this icebreaker is to get to know your cohort a little better! The next step is to split up everyone into breakout rooms of 3-4 people. In your breakout rooms, find two things that you have in common with everyone and two things that are different for everybody in the room. You’ll have 5 minutes in the breakout rooms, and then after that we’re going to come back together to share. One thing you can start off with is asking where everyone is calling in from! This can either be a similarity or difference!
Melanie Goerke | Michigan State DFA Alumni
Sustainability Specialist – LEED AP BD+C

Recent Project
Kidspace, a therapeutic daycare and preschool in Washington, D.C. that better fuses the city with it's families. Read more here!

Lessons from DFA
Melanie's time in DFA taught her the importance of problem-solving and understanding how to better work with the strengths of others from different professional backgrounds and mindsets.

Career Advice
After an amazing experience at the 2015 Midwest Meet-Up, Melanie emphasizes the importance of the DFA network and take advantage of what we all bring to the table.

Want to get in touch?
Melanie's LinkedIn

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