My eyes were opened to a different style of teaching with Excel, Storytelling, Powerful Questions, and Pitching classes. These workshops taught vital skills that are and will be useful for any student that wants to be a part of the world.

Skills Labs

In summer 2018, we paired skills labs with each of our social science intros: Excel and economics, surveying and sociology, asking powerful questions and history, etc. The skills labs were a hit, and fellows wanted even more time on them. In summer 2019, we’ve broken skills labs into their own night. On Thursdays, all of our fellows from across programs will gather for a full night of skills labs and fellowship. These skills are foundational and will serve fellows regardless of their paths in life.

Context Gathering

How to ask questions that generate information and insights, re-frame issues and problems, and prompt people to change their minds or actions. Guest speakers are an opportunity to practice this skill.

How to observe with empathy to understand problems and rapidly prototype solutions with users to solve them.

Asking powerful questions

Design Thinking

I learned so much in the skills labs in such a short amount of time that I cannot imagine how much students could learn if it became a full year class.


How to use spreadsheets and modeling to analyze data and generate new insights about problems.


How to create surveys to generate new datasets and insights.


How to display information for easy understanding and improved decision-making.

Visualizing data

I appreciated how we were able to use Excel ourselves to make charts instead of just being shown one, which is what usually happens at my school.


How to organize the information and insights you’ve collected into a compelling storyline.


How to deliver your story in a compelling way.


Storylining was a great exercise that I would love to do more of. My biggest problem with writing essays is staring at my evidence and having no conclusions about them so I end up grouping them thematically. However, this exercise was very beneficial to look at organizing text in a way that would interest the reader more.