To date, STEM Fuse has developed curricula in the areas of technology, computer science, true STEM and health science. That changes with START:IT – our introductory high school level entrepreneurship class. The time is right to include entrepreneurship under the STEM Fuse umbrella because technology is such a huge factor in starting and running a business. Entrepreneurship is also becoming more vital than ever as the job market for recent and future high school and college grads is in a prolonged slump, worse than was seen during the Great Depression according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly all net job creation in the U.S. since 1980 occurred in firms less than five years old.
Technology has advanced to the point that young entrepreneurs with basic technical skills can leverage global marketing opportunities brought about by the internet and social media sites. There are many low cost or free business software options that are available to help new business owners as well. It is our goal through START:IT to teach the standard concepts of entrepreneurship and business planning plus introduce and train students on industry standard technologies that can help them succeed in any career. Technologies like Google Apps (compared to Microsoft’s Office), Drupal Gardens web site editor, Facebook & Twitter.
START:IT aligns with standards, contains 18 weeks (90 hours) of course material and is 100% ready-to teach. In keeping with standards and 21st Century Skills, START:IT puts a premium on using technology applications and digital tools for research and in practice. Students will take an active role in their learning and will experience first-hand the initiative, creativity and innovation required of a successful entrepreneur. To this end we are pleased to offer the START:IT Business Competition (Unit 6) where your students will actually “pitch” their projects to an accredited investment firm with the opportunity to win funding!
There has never been a better, or important, time to explore entrepreneurship!