Budding Entrepreneurs Thrive at The Grayson School’s Future Job Fair
Through teamwork, collaboration, and the freedom to explore their interests, students at The Grayson School learned coding and entrepreneurial spirit.
Preparing students for the future with innovative, research-based curriculum fuels the educators at The Grayson School. Middle school students at Grayson recently hosted a “Future Job Fair” to showcase products they invented to address future problems in their Computer Science classes. This was the culmination of a unit on innovation and featured the students’ own web design, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit. Attending parents and students even got the chance to vote on companies in which they’d like to invest!
Creating a business for the year 2039
“While mastering basic web design skills is my objective, at Grayson, we strive for authentic practice in our student’s learning, and a project’s focus is an integral part of our curriculum,” explained Matt Hartman, the school’s Computer Science teacher who organized the event.
With their web design work at the core, the students were challenged to create a business for 20 years in the future. Each student researched their ideas, and sought input to validate their business concept, built a website, timeline, and logo for their future business.
In addition to learning more about the products students invented to address future problems, attendees also “voted” on companies in which to invest. This required the students to not just learn to solve problems, but also a little hustle. “Every entrepreneur needs to be able to pitch their ideas to their investors and their customers and potential new employees! Today’s fair gives the students the opportunity to refine their skills and get comfortable in presenting and sharing their work,” Hartman said. Tani, one of the Computer Science students, developed a polling app to help capture attendees’ choices.
To Hartman, nowhere was this more apparent than at the Future Job Fair: “The exciting thing about teaching in this way is that our students drive the direction and the speed in which we work. While I might have planned a much shorter unit to learn basic web coding, the value gained in allowing the students to guide the direction led to them building off each other’s ideas, forming alliances and partnerships to improve their concepts (and we even had one merger!). Through teamwork, collaboration, and taking risks, they not only picked up some coding skills, but also gave them the opportunity to think of their future selves as creative entrepreneurs.”
The growth of The Grayson School
Grayson — Pennsylvania’s only independent school just for gifted learners, which opened in 2015 — is able to provide student-centered learning and help students solve real-world problems. Grayson’s research-based programming is standards-aligned, but flexible so teachers can take advantage of moments of genuine inspiration. In just three years their track record of success in engaging gifted students, combined with their expansion to enroll Pre-K through Grade 12 students, has resulted in outgrowing their original location! In Fall 2019 The Grayson School will open at its new location in Radnor, on the 54-acre campus of Archbishop John Carroll High School.
You can get to know more about The Grayson School by attending one of their Welcome Wednesday admission events. If your 9-12 year-old child loves math, register to celebrate Star Wars Day on May 4th at The Grayson School for their Cognicon event.
Photographs provided by The Grayson School.