This week we were invited to DeWitt Clinton Elementary School on the north side of Chicago to help judge the StartUp Tech Expo. Clinton is among only two schools in the Chicago Public School system that offer this StartUp tech program sponsored by NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship). NFTE’s goal is to teach entrepreneurship early to prepare today’s youth for 21st century opportunities and challenges. We were honored to be asked to judge and highly impressed with what our local students created!
NFTE: Solution = Mindset
“Teaching entrepreneurship changes mindsets, changes lives, changes the world. We must equip young people with an innovator’s eye and a founder’s grit–the skills to excel in an innovation economy. And with economists predicting the jobs of tomorrow don’t even exist today, entrepreneurial skills are skills for life.”
Pictured above: Team Dangerous Driving explain their app and how it can help make the roads safer.
The impact NFTE has had with their programs has been astounding and has shown that their students, equipped with the skills learned from the curricula, have gone on to graduate and attend college (80%), secured a career or sought higher education (86%) and have even started their own business (1 in 4). In order to qualify for an NFTE program, a school will have to have at least 50% of the students qualifying for free or reduced price lunch. NFTE seeks out these communities with lower resources and uses their robust network of volunteer entrepreneurs and business people to support classroom activities and student business plan competitions like the StartUp Tech Expo. Their programs can be found around the Unites States in California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Philadelphia.
BD Mechanical Engineer, Parth Bhatt, is given the full run down of how Team Edu+Alarm created their time management app.
The competition revolved around the students identifying problems in their school and community and developing a business plan and conducting market research to create an app that addresses those needs. The students spent the school year learning about the Principles of Entrepreneurship and coding (using the MIT app, Inventor).
Clinton students await the results from the judging panel.
Michael Prince, Carter Gerard, and Parth Bhatt (President, Industrial Engineer and Mechanical Engineer, respectively) were judges and got to see first hand what the students created. At the end of the judging period the votes were counted and the winners were announced. From apps that increased math skills, to mental health self-help, and budget tracking apps, the students did their homework! Below are the winners which were presented with awards by Alderman Patrick O’Connor.
In first place came Team Slumber who created a sleep assistant app and was presented with their first place medals from Alderman O’Connor below:
In second place came the flash card math app, Team MathDex (pictured in the header with Team BD and accepting their award below).
And in third place came time management app, Team ProClass(tinator).
We were thrilled with what our local students have achieved and can’t wait to see them evolve into the entrepreneurs of tomorrow! Beyond Design has been involved in student education and leadership program for years, most notably with our dig-8 program. Dig-8 (which stands for Discover, Innovate, and Grow – with the “8” representing the 8th grade class) was created by our team through our passion for design and education to Chicago Public Schools. Starting with a K-8 school in Chicago, we joined forces with Nettelhorst School to teach students about product development and give them the opportunity to design real products, and create real startups, right in the classroom. The program helps students develop principles and skills they will use for the rest of their lives, in any profession they choose. We are glad to see other high impact student programs have continued to spread in the city. For more information on getting involved with dig-8 or other programs at Clinton Elementary please drop us a note.
Above, Michael is pictured with Assistant Principal, Virag Nanavati. Below, Clinton kids applaud their hard work.