This school year, Edison brought in a collection of new classes, entrepreneurship being one where students create their own business ideas to solve real-world problems. The class is currently only for senior students who are taking this as an elective.
This business class is unlike the others career and technical classes in Edison. The question is, however, do students who are placed into this class think it is worth their time?
Ayman Haque who is currently in the class said, “No, I don’t think this class is beneficial to me. It could be because it provides a platform for me to comfortably present my potential business ideas. I personally don’t take the class seriously.”
On the other hand, Zanatull Ahmed stated, “ Yes because this is a career I want to pursue… it will help me in my business adventures in the future.”
Lessons are a big part of how students learn in class, note-taking or online course work are two of the most common ways students do their school work. Entrepreneurship uses a website called Canvas, where students interact with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) infrastructure.
The lessons are planned by unit and weeks, students look into the Powerpoints given and complete the activities afterward.
Ms. Sandra Cruz, the instructor, said “The lessons are planned a unique lesson cycle, every unit begins with an investigation which is group work that introduces the content, but allows the students to work as part of a team where they are building a prototype or activating one of those mindsets to solve a problem… students develop more of an understanding through the vocabulary.”
Students problem-solve by working in a group and presenting it to the class. Before presenting, they have lab time where they work on their evolving business ideas.
Ahmed said, “We made business ideas and created prototypes. For example, I made a product for children with autism.” Problems that are presented can be solved through an app, a product through a service.
All of the students have the opportunity to compete in the New York Metro Regional Challenge. Students from other high schools, who are NFTE students, pitch their best idea. There are prizes that are awarded at the end to the students which allows them to move their idea along and develop it into an actual product that can be launched. At the end of the second semester, there is a certification through certiport, where students obtain a certification called entrepreneurship and small business certification.
Many students may not pursue the career they are learning in their shop class. This class being all business based, it gives students an opportunity to learn something that they would like to do in the future. Others may want to avoid the class from it being a “filler” that is just put into their schedule, preventing them from getting a service/free period.