It’s not a new idea: parents want the best for their children—including a sense of confidence, preparedness, and self-assuredness as they make their way in the world. The old adage, “it takes a village to raise a child” rings true for so many of us. We lean on our neighbors and teachers constantly, whether consciously or unconsciously.
Students need an invested community of people surrounding them to be successful. Yes, this includes our physical neighbors who help by shoveling a sidewalk or bringing a meal. But more importantly, it is our school systems and local community who invest in our youth; those who wake up every day and choose our children as their life mission. They hold the key to equipping today’s students with the tools and mindset they need to succeed in our changing world—a statement that carries even more weight now than it did just a couple of years ago.
When Students Thrive, Our Communities Thrive
Inside and outside of the classroom (or computer screen), endless messages compete for the attention of school and district leaders, teachers, parents, and students. With constant exposure to current events and ongoing uncertainty, it’s even more important to stay focused on developing our students’ minds and talent.
Dynamic experiential learning opportunities, like authentic entrepreneurship education, champion future-readiness and meaningful skill development by inspiring connections and bringing meaning to learning—we call this purposeful learning. These connections are critically important when many feel disconnected from school, learning, and each other.
This conversation-building, student-motivating approach can help students really thrive, not just ‘do school’. And when students thrive, a community thrives—because a community of innovative and resourceful thinkers creates a robust pipeline of talent to fill important future roles within and outside your community.
Parent-Proud Skill Development
INCubatoredu high school entrepreneurship program brings this purposeful learning to the classroom (and beyond). Central to the program is a volunteer network that shares expertise and in turn provides students with real-world, work-based learning experiences as they create startups. This experience connects students to the ‘why’ they’re learning and students are exposed to career paths they might not have known existed! The energy this ignites and the skill-building is immediate—and parents notice.
“INCubatoredu has been an amazing opportunity for our son to collaborate with a team to pitch and build their small business,” says the parent of Barrington High School junior, Mikey L. “The exposure to real-world aspects of creating a product and building a business, with the guidance of working professionals and their team mentor has been incredible. And, Hags has been a great teacher and leader. It’s a fantastic program with amazing support from the business community!”
From Love of Learning to Meaningful Careers
When students drive their own learning, they develop a greater sense of accomplishment and discover that learning doesn’t only mean studying and taking exams. Learning is a life-long pursuit and can be fun.
The skills students learn in INCubatoredu transfer to any industry, helping them secure and develop in long-lasting, fulfilling jobs. Whether students are in ‘founder mode’ with a passion for the startup life, or pursuing a collegiate or career path after high school, all benefit from entrepreneurial education. At its core, it’s about teaching students to learn from failure and adapt to change to build resilience and confidence.
“In high school, my son wasn’t energized or inspired by his studies,” says Deputy Superintendent of Eanes ISD, Dr. Jeff Arnett. “He worked hard but never quite found his academic sweet spot or his passion. Then he was introduced to INCubatoredu.”
Arnett’s son, a recent high school graduate, pitched, funded, and built a profitable company throughout his high school and college years. He sold the company the same day he graduated with a business degree, then began his successful career in sales and marketing. “And it all began when INCubatoredu entepreneurship changed the trajectory of his path to learning and life,” Arnett says.
Buzz-Worthy Passion Pursuit
Arnett’s isn’t the only success story borne from entrepreneurship education. Another former INCubatoredu student, Nick Y., built a successful business with the tools he gained in high school. Nick’s curious, outdoorsy spirit drove him to solve a problem for folks on-the-go, and the support of his teachers, peers, and community members gave him the confidence and resources needed to pursue funding and bring his product to market.
That doesn’t just happen—it comes from learning experiences and support that give students like Nick the freedom to think, collaborate, test, try, problem-solve, and even fail.
“I frequently share our experience with our friends, our kids’ friends’ parents, and the community at large, and I always say the same thing. This class prepares kids for the world and treats them like the creative young adults they are,” says Nick’s father, Jeff Yehle.
“The majority of kids in this class are super passionate about the program, think about the class all the time, and put in as much time as it takes to succeed. We discussed Nick’s product and team at least three nights a week at dinner, if not more. It’s an engaging life experience where students learn, whether their group succeeds or fails. It’s everyone’s favorite class.”
Gearing Up for the Future
None of us knows what the future brings. But we do know that the jobs of the future require a blend of hard and soft (human) skills. Students today have unprecedented access to information, and are capable of tackling whatever comes their way. With the right support, along with their natural curiosity and creativity, they can pursue passions and will solve the challenges communities (and the world) face today. Experiential learning and entrepreneurship education can enhance student learning, and engage parents around student development and success.
At Uncharted Learning, we’re on a mission to support students to succeed within and beyond the walls of a classroom. Contact us or request a sample lesson plan to get started. We’d welcome the opportunity to provide you with more information about this curricular solution.