The Entrepreneurship Process in School By Galit Zamler
This is an example of the entrepreneurship process in school starting with brainstorming ideas for projects through examination and implementation.
In the Mordei HaGetao't school in Ramat Gan, Israel, a group of third through fifth grade who chose to study entrepreneurial leadership attended the Entrepreneurship for Kids program.
The goal was to enable students to raise ideas for projects and implement them if possible so they could experience the process of being an entrepreneur. Students had the opportunity to go through every stage of the entrepreneurial process, including concept, design, and implementation.
The process that the children experienced is displayed here. You can see how many ideas for projects were raised. Some were abandoned. The reasons for that and how the initial ideas were transformed is due to a process of joint thinking among the students.
Step 1 - Exposure to Different Ideas for Projects
The first meetings discussed the subjects "Who is an entrepreneur?", "Entrepreneurial Skills and Learning From Other Entrepreneurs' Experience." Students were exposed to a wide variety of projects: social, business, and social business in these meetings. Also, they were exposed to projects of children and projects of older people, technological ventures and non-technological projects, and so on.
The purpose of presenting various projects and stories about entrepreneurs was to awaken the spark that exists in each of the children to dare to come up with ideas for projects even if they sounded very unrealistic.
Exposing students to failed projects; some are fascinating ideas that look promising and have the potential for success was equally important. Exposure to failed projects is important and encourages children to dare to try and fail. This helps children understand that failure is important and an inevitable process of entrepreneurship. Therefore, they should not worry too much about it, but rather accept it with the understanding that failure is part of an entreprenuer's journey to success.
Step 2 - Raising Ideas for Projects by Young Entrepreneurs
After the process of learning and thinking, children raised their own ideas for projects. This is how ideas for projects are born.
The focus at this early stage was to accept any idea that the group raised without filtering and without any restrictions. It is helpful if students think they are capable of implementing the idea.
The result is a range of ideas presented here:
- Microwave that is also a TV
- Intercom to call a guard
- Hairdressing at school
- T-Shirt for Any Size
- A pencil that does homework
- Small cupboard for every child in the classroom
- A knife that is safe to use
- A game center - board games that the students can play during recess
- Pencil that turns into a pen
- Electric bag
- Buffet at school
- Shoes to lift us
- Kiosk at school
- A yard for each class
Step 3 - Explaining Ideas
Students learned that if an idea stays in your head, it won't lead you anywhere. You have to share your idea with others as well as ask for help and feedback.
The young entrepreneurs realized that they needed to know how to explain their ideas so others will understand what they are thinking about. Sometimes what you think is obvious is not always clear to others.
Step 4 - Presenting the Idea to an Audience and Asking Questions
The young entrepreneurs were preparing to present their ideas to the class.
Together we learned how to speak in front of an audience. We also learned that our message is important. Specifically, a message must be clear and to the point. Body language is also important to consider when presenting ideas. Moreover, It is important to maintain eye contact with an audience. Lastly, we learned that and our tone of voice should be clear and confident.
Students gave presentations to their classmates explaining their ideas and clarifying their intentions for the projects.
Each student presented his/her idea for the project and the members of the entrepreneur group asked clarifying questions to help them better understand the ideas.
At this point, each student simply heard the questions regarding his/her idea. Each student was asked to come up with answers to the questions that he/she heard by the next meeting.
The project: Microwave that has a TV screen in the door
- How would such a microwave be built?
- Where will the TV be?
- Is the TV on the door or inside of the acutal microwave?
- Who watches TV in the kitchen? Who needs this?
- Will the TV work only when the microwave is in use?
- Why do we need a microwave in school?
- Will the TV overheat when the microwave is in use?
The young entrepreneur, Lia, came back with answers to those questions
The project: An intercom that calls the guard when someone comes to the school's gate and the guard is not there. When someone approaches the gate, they will click the intercom and send a radio message to the guard. The guard will then come and open the gate.
- How will the intercom call the guard and from where?
- What will this invention be called?
- How would it work from the technical aspect?
- What device will the guard have?
The young entrepreneur, Maya, replied to those questions:
The project: A barber shop in the school so that it is accessible to all students.
- Where will the barber shop be placed?
- How will we raise money for a barber shop?
- What is special about the barber shop?
- Who will be the barber?
The project: A t-shirt for any size - a shirt that you can shrink and stretch it to fit different sizes, therefore, saving money on buying clothes.
In the end, the project A T-Shirt for Any Size was implemented. Clicking on this link will direct you to the page where the project is explained in detail.
- How can one shirt be all sizes?
- Is it one shirt that fits several sizes or several shirts that fit several sizes?
- What material is the shirt made of?
- What is the purpose of the shirt?
- Who needs such a product? Who is the target demographic?
Initiative: A pencil that completes homework
Whoever does not like to do homework will use a pencil with a small device attached. The device will complete homework for the student. The pencil will not only know how to read the questions, but also how to find answers and write them down too.
- How does the pencil identify the written questions?
- Where does the pencil get its answers from?
- How can the pencil write the answers alone?
The young entrepreneur, Eden, came back with answers to the questions.
Initiative: A cabinet for all
Every student will have a small cabinet in the classroom, that he or she can keep his/her books and notepads in so that he or she does not have to carry a heavy backpack.
- Where would the cabinets be located?
- Where would we get funding for every kid to have their own cabinet?
- Why do we need cabinets if we have lockers?
Initiative: A safe to use a knife
A knife that prevents accidents during use. Specifically, a knife that prevents accidents when being handled by children who are not as cautious or careful.
- How and when would the safety cover attach to the knife?
- How would the safety cover attached to the knife in a timely manner when needed?
- How can users disable the safety cover in order to keep using the knife with it?
- Who has the knowledge/proficiency to make this knife?
Initiative: School Game Room
Establish a room in school with different games for the benefit of students during recess or open periods. The room would include board games, computer games, video games and more.
- How would the school find a location for the game room?
- Where would the money for the game room come from?
- Is there a need for a recreation room?
- Would video/computer games be allowed in school?
- Is the use of cell phones permitted in the room?
- Who would supervise and maintain order in the game room?
Young entrepreneurs, Shahar and Shira, answered those questions:
Initiative: A pencil-pen hybrid
A pencil that can, with a touch of a button, turn into a pen and vice versa.
- How would the pencil tip turn into the tip of a pen?
- Are there two holes in the pencil-pen hybrid? One for the ink and one for the led, perhaps?
The young entrepreneur, Afik, answered that question:
Initiative: Electric Bag
A bag with a small, built-in motor that can, with the touch of a button, easily open or close. The bag would help people whose hands are full.
- How would the bag open and close by itself?
- Where would the electric portion of the bag come from?
- Is the bag safe?
The young entrepreneur, Roei, answered:
Initiative: School Luncheonette
A luncheonette with hot plates for school students. A child who does not have a warm meal waiting at home may come to the luncheonette. Students who want to change up their breakfast every once in while may also come to the luncheonette.
- When would the students eat there?
- Where would we get groceries from?
- Where would we get a cook?
- Are we prepared for a Kosher certificate? (Roughly 2000 Nis a year)
Young entrepreneurs, Noah and Geffen, answered these questions:
Initiative: Shoes that lift us
Electrical shoes that will lift us so that we no longer need to climb stairs and we could arrive to different locations quickly and without much effort.
- How would the shoes lift people?
- What kind of voltage is required to lift a person?
- Who needs this? (Who is the target audience?)
- Would the shoes work like an elevator? Would the shoes be able to lift people up several floors high?
- How would the shoes lift people up sets of stairs?
- What would happen to the shoes when it rains?
The young entrepreneur, Roei, answered these questions:
The project: a kiosk at school
Establishing a kiosk at school that sells sweets and other things that children love.
- How would we build a kiosk at school?
- Where will the food for the kiosk will come from?
- Who will prepare the food for the kiosk?
- Who will manage the kiosk?
- When will the kiosk be open?
The young entrepreneurs, Amichai, Ofek, and Ido replied to the questions:
The project: Plot for every class
A section of land allocated in the schoolyard for each class to allow each class to play every day at recess in its own field.
- From where will we get a plot for classes in school?
Step 5 - Following the Questions Asked
The questions asked among the young entrepreneurs caused some of them to have second thoughts about their project ideas.
Some young entreprenuers returned with answers to the questions while others decided not to continue with their ideas.
At that point it was proposed that all students take part in any project they like. Even if a project was not a particular student?s idea that student could take part in it. Every student had the opportunity to participate in one or more of the entrepreneurial projects presented as part of Entreprenuership for kids.
At the same time, we examined whether these ideas have already been implemented. If so, the students were prevented from implementing them.
We found that in 2006 the idea of a microwave that also a TV in it had already been thought of (See this page). Together, we asked ourselves, why do we not see this product on the market? We raised various theories and Lia,the young entreprenuer who raised the idea, decided to improve the existing invention, and thus to abandon the idea.
We also decided that it is probably not practical to develop electric shoes to lift us because it would take a lot of electrical power to lift a person's weight and would be difficult for anyone to wear shoes that were that heavy. But, we found that this idea can be implemented in another way like in this video:
Roy, the student who conceived the idea, decided that the shoes would have springs on the bottom and the effect of the quick and easy walk will continue to exist this way.
However, we found that these shoes already exist in the market.
The shoe and miicrowave ideas that were dropped following the questions asked as well as following the test:
Step 6 - Approval of the School Principal
The school principle, Ronni Shasha, and her deputy Sarah Bahar, summarized the theme of entrepreneurship in the school explored the various ideas for projects, which the entrepreneur students decided to promote, and gave their impressions of each idea:
- A microwave that is a TV - a great idea! Do the entrepreneur students know how to put it into practice?
- An intercom that calls the guard - the guard should always be near the gate and if he is not there then he is either touring the yard or in the washroom and in these cases, there is no point in calling him.
- A shirt for every size - a great idea! They should visit a designer/fashion designer for guidance regarding this idea.
- A pencil that does homework -???
- A safe to use a knife - a great idea! The student entrepreneurs should brainstorm how to implement this idea.
- A game room - a lovely idea! But our experience shows that it is difficult to maintain order in the game room and parts would get lost. They should think of a game place for smaller groups so that it is possible to keep an eye on all students involved.
- A pencil that turns into a pen - a nice idea. Do student entreprenuers know how to implement it?
- Electric bag - there is room to clarify this idea; parents can be used to implement it.
- Buffet at the school - the school is not prepared to establish a buffet for students.
- A kiosk at the school - a nice idea, but candy cannot be sold at school. The school PTA does not approve of the sale of goods in return for money on school grounds.
Following the feedback from the management of the school, we were left with the following ideas:
Step 7 - Moving Forward with the Ideas that Approved
We moved forward with these ideas.. First, we held a brain storming session to decide if the ideas were possible and could be implemented.
The brain storming session resulted in:
Ideas that Remained within the Framework of Copywriting:
A pencil that does homework - We concluded that theoretically it is possible to implement the idea this way because there are now devices that can read written material and understand its content (like Quicktionary that identifies text and translates it). So in using this technology, you can read the questions and understand them, upload them to Google and Google will find the answer, and then print the answer since there are now pens that know to print, this invention is possible to implement, but it will require the knowledge and resources which we don't have.
A safe to use a knife - The students connected to this idea thought of it because everyone has experienced a cut from a kitchen knife or seen someone get cut with a kitchen knife. We thought it might be possible to implement this idea by using heat knife blade sensors, which would identify body temperature ( within the finger) and once the knife blade got too close to the finger, a cover would cover the blade and the person would not get cut. The reaction time of the sensors would need to be very quick. We concluded that this is possible, but at the time, we don't have the knowledge and resources needed to carry out the project.
A pencil that turns into a pen - We concluded that there is thinking to do regarding how to implement this from a technical point and in the short time remaining until the end of the year, it will be difficult to implement the project.
Ideas that Required the Help and Advice of Parents
There was a meeting with the parents of the entrepreneur students during education week. We shared with the parents the processes that we went through during the year and asked for their help and advice on how to implement the following ideas:
Microwave that is a TV
The idea was presented to the parents even though someone had already thought of it. We told the parents how we asked ourselves about why we didn?t see it in the market. The parents expressed their opinion on the matter. It turned out that the father of the entrepreneur student could help her in implement the project and it was decided that together they would try to implement it.
This idea was presented to the parents as well. Some thought it was not necessary and others liked it. There was someone who improved the idea by suggesting that it also be implemented in baskets that are sold in retail chains.
A shirt for any size
(Click on the link to read about the process of implementing the project in details).
Yair, the owner of the idea, sketched a drawing of the shirt as he saw it in his mind.
The entire entrepreneurship group went to visit the fashion designer, Rotem Eyal, owner of the network Boo designer clothes to hear her professional opinion on the matter.
We asked Orit Barshi, owner of the studio Genesis for designing dresses to help us make the idea of the shirt for any size into an actual product.
A Play room
In light of the parents? opinions, we decided to change to the original idea. We gave up on the idea of a single play room for every school because we realized that it would be difficult to cope with supervising a large number of students. We also thought it would be difficult to make sure to arrange the games and return them to their correct place each day. We decided to establish a play room in each classroom and allow the teachers to determine which people will look after the students in the game room and determine the distribution of games between the students.
This is a presentation of the project implementation process and how it was successfully executed:
In addition, we decided to implement the idea in another way. Participants of the entrepreneurship kids program will help students from grades 1 and 2 in a day of mind games. We asked for and received approval for that by the administrator of the school.
This is a summary of the presentation of the project:
Even the original idea of this project has been modified. Due to the children's affection for sweets, we realized that we needed to change the mix of products sold in the kiosk. So they fit the spirit of the school. The young entrepreneurs decided to sell sandwiches, ice cream, and drinks. In addition, to cope with the constraint of not being able to sell in exchange for money, we decided that the sale would be for bottles that have a deposit fee refund on them.
This is a presentation that summarizes the project: Mordei Kiosk:
- About the program
- Implementation in schools
- Israel - Startup Nation
- About Galit Zamler
- Experiences from the program
- Experiences from the program - part II
- Projects carried out by kids
- Projects carried out by kids - part II
- Children's ideas for projects
- Children's ideas for projects - part II
- Project: T-shirt for any size
- Project: Dog adoption day
- Guest lecturers
- Hackathon events for students, teachers and school directors
- Program content
- Wrote about us
- Global Entrepreneurship Week
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