Prize-Winning Activities

2019 Awards

Being in the White House Situation Room: Developing Strategic Options

Faculty develop a national security crisis and simulate placing the students on the National Security Council Staff to develop strategic options to drive U.S. foreign policy. By thrusting students into positions of responsibility for solutions to real-world issues, this activity requires students to draw on what they have learned and to think on their feet, and it fosters a deeper appreciation for the challenges associated with working on foreign policy.

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Visualizing Humanitarian Crises and Interventions

Student groups are each assigned a region experiencing a humanitarian crisis for research. They produce a visual timeline representing the processes precipitating and leading up to the crisis and the relief efforts undertaken in response. As a final project, each group produces an infographic representing a theme or a typology it observes across the different crises explored throughout the timeline exercise.

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2018 Awards

Empathetic Bridge Role Play

Students use role-playing during a case study to demonstrate narrative leadership and improvise how they would handle a difficult situation if it arose in the workplace. Through this activity, students have a chance to practice leading a group through a moment of disruption.

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2017 Awards

Paper Figure Jigsaw

Students develop skills in critical paper reading by working through a series of active learning exercises. At different stages of the jigsaw activity, students work together to develop an understanding of one piece of the figure, and then teach and learn from each other in a dynamic classroom.... Read more about Paper Figure Jigsaw

2016 Awards

2015 Awards

Peer Review Revisions

In this introductory course for psychology undergraduates, students receive constructive feedback on their writing delivered in a format that simulates the peer review process in academia. Students learn about peer review methods and strengthen their writing.... Read more about Peer Review Revisions

Real Estate Investment Pitch Project

2014 Awads

Theme and Variations: Understanding Musical Style

This activity took place as part of an ongoing study of the various conventional forms in Classical music (sonata, concerto, etc.), and also contributed to a larger, semester-long conversation about the ways in which we deal with the nebulous concept of "style" in music. Coming into the class itself, students possessed a basic knowledge of musical rudiments such as melody and harmony. For this particular activity, students had already been introduced to the idea of a "Theme and Variations" form, and had listened to several examples.

First, students are given a simple melody,...

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Bring a Goddess to a Party

Students were expected to have researched one goddess from the ancient Near East as described in several primary and secondary sources. The description of the activity on the syllabus is as follows: Choose a female deity or demon from the ancient Near East that you find captivating. Now imagine you have just invited her to a party at Smith College. Describe what she looks like and what she will wear to the party. How will you introduce her to your friends? Tell them where she is from, what her interest are, and explain her special talents, as well as any personality traits that might make for awkward social interactions.

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Name Five

Kellie Carter Jackson, a Harvard College Fellow, created the game “Name Five” for her AAAS118 class. In the beginning of the class, she goes around the room and asks students to list five notable people of different ethnicities to help students understand the world and the power dynamics within it.

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Globe Toss Icebreaker

For the STAT104 first class of the semester, Lecturer Michael Parzen throws an inflatable globe of the world into the class audience to get the class excited about learning future topics of experimentation, randomness, and estimation.

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