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Early Entrepreneurs Experiment

Guiding Question:


Can the entrepreneurial spirit of today’s youth precipitate change in the world in a positive and sustainable way?

Project Origin:

In the spring of 2011, Taylor Conroy, an entrepreneur from Vancouver, delivered a
Tedx Address, titled,  “How to Build a School in Three Hours.” After stumbling upon and watching Taylor’s presentation, Brian Sorrow posted a positive comment on Taylor’s Blog.  Ever since, Taylor and Brian have been collaborating to bring the Early Entrepreneurs Experiment to Woodward Academy, with school administration’s consideration and approval, through Brian’s Middle School Social Studies classes.

Project Scope:  

For the 2011-12 academic year, the students in Brian Sorrow’s 7th grade World Cultures and 8th grade US History classes will take part in a beta version of the “Early Entrepreneurs” project.  In this project, students will learn and apply basic entrepreneurial skills to earn as much money as possible through
the course of the year.  Upon the project’s conclusion, all proceeds will be directed to
Terranova, Woodward's sister school in Zambia, to focus on fresh water initiatives.

Project Plan:

At the beginning academic year, each class will be divided into teams of 4 to 5 students. Each group will then be given $50 as seed money to use as capital to begin their exercise in entrepreneurship.  Students will learn and apply basic micro-economic skills to turn the seed into as much money as possible by April 2012.  Teams will create business plans and proposals and implement these plans as the year progresses. Teams will be encouraged to collaborate and think creatively about how to multiply their capital.  At the end of the project, all teams will return the initial capital to their “investor.” All remaining monies will be donated to Terranova.

Project Rationale:

  • The Early Entrepreneurs Project supports Woodward’s motto:Excellence, Character, Opportunity.” (from Woodward Academy’s Strategic Plan 2011-2016).
    • Excellence
      : Students will be given the opportunity to excel by applying cross-curriculum skills in an entrepreneurial environment.
    • Character: Students will be given the opportunity to learn about, touch, and affect the world in a real and tangible way. Students will experience “the world rather their world.”  Students will experience how their voice and actions matter and can change the world for the better.
    • Opportunity: Students who may typically struggle academically in core content subjects will be given the opportunity to excel in a hands-on and creative manner.  Also, through this vehicle, students will have the opportunity to experiment, succeed, fail, grow, and give to something bigger than themselves in the context of a supportive learning community.
  • The Early Entrepreneurs Project supports Woodward’s strategic vision of academic excellence.
    • Students will have the opportunity to grow and develop as “critical thinkers and ethical problem solvers.”
    • Students will have the opportunity to “focus on the global environment and sustainability...which [will] reflect a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives.”
    • Students will collaborate and coordinate using technology (such as blogs, wikis, video, and social-networking) that they will find important in years to come.
    • Students will be “effectively engaged as 21st Century learners.”
      • Students will have the opportunity to learn Life and Career Skills.
      • Students will have the opportunity to participate in Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity.
      • Students will have the opportunity to enhance Information, Technology, and Media Skills.
      • For more information on 21st Century Learning, please see the attached link: Framework for 21st Century Learning
  • The Early Entrepreneurs Project supports Woodward’s strategic vision of leadership development.
    • Students will have the opportunity to “develop an understanding of leadership and service, forming their potential as leaders.”
  • The Early Entrepreneurs Project supports the curriculum and content goals of the Middle School Social Studies Department.
    • Students will study the issues of globalization, poverty, and sustainability as it relates to content standards.  Students will have the opportunity to not only learn about global problems, but also offer solutions and assistance.

Project Ground Rules:

  • Students will be divided into groups of 4-5 students.  Each group will receive $50 in seed money. Groups will attempt to grow the $50 seed into as much return as possible by May 1, 2012.
  • Students will use learned micro-economic skills (as a part of our curriculum) and ingenuity to create entrepreneurial opportunities to earn funds.
  • Students are not allowed (at least initially) to ask family and friends for funds as a charitable gift.  Students must provide some sort of service or commodity for any exchange of funds.
  • Students may not directly sell goods at sanctioned Woodward Academy events.
  • Students may not market goods directly to members of the Woodward family, unless they have some other connection (i.e. church, club, community organization).
  • Students may offer “free of charge” services or commodities, while accepting donations in exchange.

Criteria for Success:

  • Students will learn about, touch, and affect the world in a real and tangible way. Students will experience “the world rather their world.”  Students will experience how their voice and actions matter and can change the world for the better.
    • Tangible Outcome: See Attached Reflective Essays...
  • Students will study the issues of globalization, poverty, and sustainability as it relates to content standards.  Students will to not only learn about global problems, but also offer solutions and assistance.
    • Tangible Outcome: To be determined...
  • Students will “focus on the global environment and sustainability...which [will] reflect a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives.”
    • Tangible Outcome: To be determined...
  • Students who may typically struggle academically in core content subjects will excel in a hands-on and creative manner.  Also, through this vehicle, students will experiment, succeed, fail, grow, and give to a cause bigger than themselves in the context of a supportive learning community.
    • Tangible Outcome:  See Attached Reflective Essays...
  • Students will apply cross-curriculum skills in an entrepreneurial environment.
    • Tangible Outcome: To be determined...
  • Students will grow and develop as “critical thinkers and ethical problem solvers.”
    • Tangible Outcome:  See Attached Reflective Essays...
  • Students will collaborate and coordinate using technology (such as blogs, wikis, video, and social-networking).
    • Tangible Outcome: To be determined...
  • Students will “develop an understanding of leadership and service, forming their potential as leaders.”
    • Tangible Outcome:  See Attached Reflective Essays...
  • Students will be “effectively engaged as 21st Century learners.”
    • Students will learn Life and Career Skills.
      • Tangible Outcome:  See Attached Reflective Essays...
    • Students will use and improve Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity skills.
      • Tangible Outcome:  See Attached Reflective Essays...
    • Students will use and improve Information, Technology, and Media Skills.
      • Tangible Outcome: To be determined...

Why Water?


 


Project Results

EEE Cash-Flow Spreadsheet