Newly offered at Marymount this semester, Entrepreneurship 101 is an innovative, collaborative class for students in Classes X-XII. Led by three academic advisors, the course is designed to provide students with a supportive environment in which they can brainstorm, explore, and develop ideas for startups. According to Don Buckley, the class “dramatically mitigates the risks involved in pursuing ideas” by providing students with a forum for discussion and product development.

Buckley notes that the key to the course lies in its emphasis on the creative and innovative process. Students collaborate, guided by the four main tenants of ideation, namely: “What is?”, “What if?”, “What wows?”, and “What works?” The class acts as an incubator for students’ ideas, allowing them to determine the time and resources necessary to hone concpects into viable market proposals. Buckley notes that the discussion-based nature of the class allows students to “be in charge of their own learning and passions.” The class, which students have elected to join in lieu of a free period, is an exciting new learning environment, and serves as a unique and engaging addition to the Marymount curriculum.

The course has been enhanced by the participation of representatives of several start-ups, including the founders of Chicory App and ScriptEd. Each speaker focused on their own project, engaging in conversation about the start-up world as well as offering critiques of each student’s start-up project. Students have created a wide variety of innovative projects, including a self-deploying fire ladder and a nut allergy sensor.

This spring, students will be participating in the 2015-2016 Staples Back to School Design Competition. In this program, students will focus on four areas of back-to-school merchandise and design innovative new products in these areas. Representatives from Staples will judge the designs, with the potential for the designs to be sold at Staples during summer of 2016.

Does your school do something similar?

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