On Active Learning

Peru Summer 2017 Blog

Written by: Dalitso Banda

July 18, 2017

GSL is ultimately a sharing experience. It is a channel for MIT to share its methodology with the world, and a way for MIT and its students to have an immersive experience of innovation in different corners of the globe. Teachers learn from students and vice versa.

Our students for this year’s program represent some of the best and brightest in Lima. We had over 150 applications to the program but only enough capacity for 50. The student body is diverse and consists of students from many different majors and with various backgrounds in programming, design, and business. We believe the most effective teams are built by people with complementary skill sets and effective communication.


In the program, we have daily activities designed to teach effective principles of communication and team building. For example, one of our earlier activities was the marshmallow challenge. This is a simple activity that has each team build structures given limited time and resources. The team with the tallest structure wins.  Another activity we introduced is the NASA landing challenge. In this challenge, teams and individuals rank survival items in order of survival importance after a crash landing on the moon. Aside from being fun, activities like this encourage out of the box thinking, build team strategical planning and improve communication.


The feedback we have had from the students has been very positive. Many students appreciated the activities and agreed that they were essential to helping them have a better grasp of the material.