Charter Partners Institute has done a number of one day programs to introduce the entrepreneurial spirit. These are based on the learning approach used with eVenture, but in a greatly shortened format. In general, after some brief introductory material, students are divided into groups of about 12 or less. Each group comes up with ideas for problems they could find a better way to solve. The group then identifies the idea that is most appealing to all, or sometimes breaks into 2-3 subgroups to pursue several ideas. Then the group or each subgroup develops the key steps required to implement their new business idea. Business mentors assigned to each group assist by asking good questions and helping the teams become comfortable with exploring new directions. Finally, all the groups reassemble for some final comments and to share the businesses they developed. We have found that a total time of about 5 hours, with about 3 hours working in groups, is sufficient for most students to get over the hump of finding a novel idea and evaluating its general practicality.
The following are photos taken at the Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit Student Forum on 6 May 2010. For this program, student leaders from high schools in each school district in the Intermediate Unit’s service region come together for a day to work on some stimulating topic. This final program for the year, where the students developed innovative business concepts, proved to be one of the most successful and memorable programs.