A Comprehensive High School Entrepreneurship Class for High School Students
Students who hope to run their own business can reach their goal. Discover four features of a comprehensive high school entrepreneurship class!
Today’s students are seeking opportunities that impact society. They understand the world is changing rapidly, leading to unforeseen challenges. New problems require invention and innovation. Consequently, students are interested in courses that foster “nimble, independent and entrepreneurial” thinking that develops creative, practical problem solving skills. This article will describe four key features of a comprehensive entrepreneurship class in high school:
Identifying Personal Interests and Aptitudes
Seeing Obstacles as Opportunities
Executing Ideas Efficiently
Building an Effective Team
Four Key Features of a Comprehensive Entrepreneurship Class for High School Students
Many of the most exciting jobs available today did not exist ten years ago: app developer, market research data miner, social media manager, or cloud computing expert, to name a few.
Forward-thinking schools, like Marlborough, quickly noted this trend, responding with entrepreneurship programs to prepare students for the future.
According to one report, “41 percent of middle and high school students plan to start their own businesses and 45 percent say that they will invent something world changing.” That means that yesterday’s curriculum does not always meet 21st-century goals. In many cases, schools are rethinking their curriculum to make room for innovative entrepreneurship programs at the high school level.
Marlborough’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation provides high school girls with hands-on training in entrepreneurship, media, robotics, research and computer science. As a result, our graduates are already taking their place in the boardroom, in the arts, and as policy makers.
1. Identifying Personal Interests and Aptitudes
A significant obstacle to a student’s success is a lack of self-awareness; therefore, it is imperative for girls to identify their personal interests and aptitudes first, especially if they want to enroll in an entrepreneurship class in high school.
Students who dream of running their own businesses sometimes feel overwhelmed, not because they are not capable individuals, but because they have so many varied interests. Imagine a student who excels in music, math, athletics, and technology. Additionally, she devotes time to the debate club, while volunteering in the community, too. While this broad set of interests can come in handy, a student who lacks focus can develop the “jack of all trades syndrome.”
The answer is to recognize the connections between her interests and aptitudes. For instance, as a musical mathematician, she may appreciate complex logic because it reflects order and beauty. Or as an athlete, she has learned to anticipate the unexpected; her flexibility has trained her for the ever-evolving world of technology.
Marlborough knows that young people are learning who they are; subsequently, we launched our Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to give girls a chance to explore related, diverse subjects that stimulate their imagination. Here are two examples:
Entrepreneurship 101: Design Your Future is a project-based class in which student-led teams consult with a real, LA-based startup, then pitch their own plan for a new product or service. Together, the girls hone public speaking skills, presentation, design, digital storytelling, data analysis, and market research.
Design for Social Impact: An Interdisciplinary Exploration in Entrepreneurship, Social Justice, and Technology synthesizes a student’s interest in nonprofits, government, business, and technology. This unique class equips students to envision public change through off-site visits to local businesses that work to address social problems. Concurrently, students learn to leverage technology for the common good as they enhance their computer skills with data visualization or by building a website.
Since self-awareness is an important step toward success, students must consider their personal interests and aptitudes. Marlborough’s entrepreneurship classes prepare students to enter the workplace as focused leaders who know how to create, collaborate, and communicate.
2. Seeing Obstacles as Opportunities
Typically, high school students avoid change since it leads to feelings of unpreparedness, insecurity, or fear of the unknown. Nevertheless, sustained personal growth comes only when people apply knowledge to experience, then take calculated risks.
High school students enrolled in entrepreneurship courses often benefit from lively, guided discussions on real-world issues, especially if the classroom feels safe. In this context, then, curious students can test theories, even if their queries initially lead to failure. Eventually, however, the students learn to see obstacles as opportunities to grow.
Since Marlborough empowers high school girls to take responsibility for complex projects, our students learn to lead by example; thus, they delegate, inspire, and motivate others.
Marlborough offers high-quality entrepreneurship classes that teach girls to think critically. Here are two examples:
Marlborough’s Computer Science Projects Honors class attracts girls from our high school entrepreneurship program because students have opportunities to use cutting-edge technology. They may study robotics, coding, computer graphics, video games, virtual reality, interactive art, simulation, web development, and more.
Engineering Design and Analysis is a dual credit, project-based course that relies on collaboration. As students begin to identify core problems, they learn to apply engineering principles, which help them design and develop creative solutions. Students must collect and analyze data, reverse engineer products, and use basic programming, all of which enhances their problem-solving skills.
Learning to see obstacles as opportunities builds confidence as students pinpoint root problems as they deal with setbacks. Marlborough’s entrepreneurship classes emphasize progress, not perfection, thus helping our students develop grit, empathy, and patience.
3. Executing Ideas Efficiently
One study claims that privately owned, female-led technology companies are “more capital-efficient [and] achieve 35 percent higher return on investment” than their counterparts.
Given the right environment, female entrepreneurial students can become influencers who help reshape society. Lawry Jones Meister is a perfect example. Graduating from Marlborough in 1979, she went on to manage FlyawayHomes, an organization that assists Los Angeles’ homeless population by building permanent supportive housing funded with social impact equity.
Today’s high school students dream of a better tomorrow, but the key is knowing how to execute ideas efficiently!
At Marlborough, our students work with mentors and peers on projects throughout the year. Additionally, the girls have frequent opportunities to present formal speeches, thus fine tuning their communication skills.
Moreover, Marlborough’s teachers often integrate the principles of entrepreneurship with other disciplines. Here are two examples:
Honors Research may focus on Humanities, Science, or the Social Sciences. In each case, students must form probing questions, then create a hypothesis that directs their investigation. Thus, our young entrepreneurs can use the principles of research to set goals, formulate and test an entrepreneurial hypothesis, evaluate data, manage time, and collaborate.
Students enrolled in Marlborough’s entrepreneurship program also benefit from our advanced History classes, which examine historical continuity, cultural shifts, and interactions among societies. Furthermore, entrepreneurship students learn to analyze geography, politics, economics, and demographics.
Marlborough’s entrepreneurship classes teach high school girls to execute ideas efficiently. That’s why we give them opportunities to combine their knowledge of entrepreneurship with other interests; as a result, our students are ready to make their mark on the business world.
4. Building a Team
Future entrepreneurs must have the ability to build and maintain a healthy team. While it is relatively easy to attract interested participants, motivating them to cooperate in the face of delays, setbacks, or conflict is another story.
Since its beginning, Marlborough has promoted camaraderie through academics, athletics, the arts, clubs, and volunteer outreach. Now, the girls enrolled in our entrepreneurship courses have a distinct advantage; they, too, build relationships through teamwork. Indeed, most of their entrepreneurial classwork revolves around collaboration. Here are examples from our Media Studies classes:
Documentary Filmmaking relies on teamwork, as groups pitch, then craft a story; the atmosphere is much like a newsroom. Together, the girls research the topic, conduct interviews, and build a cohesive, compelling storyline. Entrepreneurship students can synthesize their love of storytelling with marketing, public relations, or public service.
Collaborative students in VTV Broadcast and Video Production produce a weekly news show! They also air video and audio podcasts, which they record in the CEI Studio. Entrepreneurship students can add to their business knowledge with writing skills, videography, motion graphics, audio recording, and editing.
An entrepreneurship class in high school can be the entrance to an exciting 21st-century career. Why not let Marlborough equip your daughter with entrepreneurial skills so she can achieve her dreams?
Why Choose Marlborough?
Marlborough serves girls in grades 7 through 12. We are a private, college-preparatory secondary school, conveniently located in the heart of Los Angeles, California.
Our goal is to ignite intellectual inquiry and to build the problem-solving, creativity, collaboration, and communication skills that our students will need to innovate, invent, and lead in college and beyond.
If you want your daughter to become a curious, agile thinker, consider Marlborough. Our entrepreneurship program for high school students can give your daughter an advantage as she looks toward the future.
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