Curriki Offers Youth Entrepreneurs Resources for Hands-On Business Education

By Kim Jones, Chairman and CEO, Curriki

Curriki is excited to be adding hands-on business curriculum from Youth Entrepreneurs (YE) to our high-quality OER Library, to help budding entrepreneurs learn everything about building their own business.

Young Entrepreneurs 2YE is a one-of-a-kind business class that transforms students’ mindsets through hands-on, experiential education so that they can realize their full potential. By letting students dive into actual business scenarios, it lifts the veil between textbook learning and real-world application. Students get to see the impact of their decisions, seize opportunities and take ownership of their lives.

Create an Actual Business

YE gives students the opportunity to create an actual business and apply classroom learning to a real-world scenario, so they can take calculated risks in a low-risk environment, experience successes and learn from their failures.

At the same time, YE provides educators with the training, resources and freedom to customize lessons and activities. Its goal to set students up to be successful, not just in the classroom, but in life.

YE Courses

YE Courses include:

  • YE Business Finance — This bucket includes resources that will help you teach your students the basics of business finance in a fun and exciting way.
  • YE Economics — The 10 economic principles are highlighted in these resources.
  • YE Entrepreneurial Mindset — This bucket is full of resources designed to encourage students to think and act like an entrepreneur.
  • YE Foundational Values – YE’s Foundational Values help students succeed in both the classroom and in life.
  • YE Marketing — These resources cover market research, product innovation and ideation, as well as a marketing plan.
  • Back of the Napkin – Teachers can apply this activity to many different business scenarios.
  • Dirt and Worms – Students practice calculating Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) and develop an understanding of pricing and funding.
  • Going Bananas­ – Students learn how markets work by engaging in an activity where the price of a product is determined by buyers and sellers trading and cooperating with each other.
  • Ice Cream Sundae — Students practice calculating COGS and Price and Profit, and add labor costs to the equation.
  • Lego COGS Activity – Students calculate the cost of goods sold for a prototype they designed, and gain understanding of how those costs affect price and profit potential.

Young Entrepreneurs 1

Why YE is Effective

YE students leave the classroom equipped with an entrepreneurial mindset that is applicable to all facets of life, including critical thinking and problem-solving skills, self-awareness and a principled mindset that make them valuable employees and contributing members of their communities. The numbers tell the story:

  • 99% of Young Entrepreneurs students graduate from high school (compared to the national average of 83%)
  • 61% earn a bachelor’s degree or higher (compared to the 40% national average)
  • 29% of YE alumni have started a business (compared to the 12% national average).

About Youth Entrepreneurs (YE)

Founded in 1991, Youth Entrepreneurs is a nonprofit organization that equips high school students with the entrepreneurial skills, values and vision to pursue their dreams. YE’s experiential curriculum has enabled more than 30,000 alumni across the nation to overcome barriers and seize opportunities for the betterment of themselves and others. Some students and alumni have even turned ideas born in the classroom into real, self-sustaining businesses. Learn more at youthentrepreneurs.org.


Kim Jones is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Curriki. Kim is active in driving policy initiatives and is regularly featured as an honorary speaker on the impact of technology in education at influential meetings around the world. Learn more at Curriki.org.

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What Makes America America?

By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, Curriki

What makes America America? This would be a fascinating theme explore in a social studies class at every grade level. How is this country different than the rest of the world?

Putting aside cheerleaders, beach bodies, reality TV and American football, here are a few ideas:

The U.S. Constitution

The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights give Americans freedoms many countries can only dream of — speech, religion, equal justice under the law and more. The United States Declaration of Independence

 

says, “We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness.”

Those who don’t feel this is being granted them have the right to use the branches of government to pursue their rights.

Unlike many nations, U.S. citizens can disagree with the government without being thrown in jail. They can rally in the streets without fear of repercussions.  The press can publish stories critical of the government without being shut down.

Curriki has two partners that will help history teachers guide students on a journey through their Constitutional rights:

  • The National Constitution Center is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public understanding of, and appreciation for, the Constitution, its history, and its contemporary relevance.
  • The Bill of Rights Institute is an educational nonprofit dedicated to helping high school history teachers enhance their students’ understanding of their rights and responsibilities as citizens, as well as providing an awareness of the historical and intellectual origins of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Wealth

Even poor Americans are wealthy compared to the rest of the world.

On a global scale, the vast majority of Americans are considered either upper-middle income or high income. And many Americans classified as “poor” by the U.S. government would be middle income globally, according to the latest Pew Research Center data, while 56% of Americans are considered high income. Is that the reality your students see? High income is defined as more than $50 a day (based on 2011 purchasing power parities in 2011 prices). It might be interesting to discuss America’s wealth with your students to help them put their lifestyles in perspective.

Or use this stat to examine world economy, covering technology, trade, interdependence and more.

Generosity

You could follow up the income exploration with a discussion about giving. According to the 2017 CAF World Giving Index, America is the world’s fifth most charitable nation, with 56% of its population giving to charity by donating money, volunteering time or helping strangers.

On Curriki, Project Amigo Volunteer, from NextVista.org, reminds us of the power of giving one’s time for others, and the potential we have to see the best side of ourselves.

DiversityDiversity

The United States is diverse in every sense, a mashup of every world culture, climate and landscape. From the frenetic pace of New York City to the most remote snow-capped mountain in Colorado, from hot Florida beaches to sandstone arches in Utah, the United States provides every type of weather, geology and eco-system to explore.

The people are even more diverse, creating the melting pot that is the hallmark of America, a nation of immigrants from its birth. Examine immigration, from immigration history, to immigration policies as they evolved in the U.S., to the push and pull factors of immigration, to immigration case studies, on Curriki.

Business and Entrepreneurship

Pres. Calvin Coolidge said in a speech in 1925, “The chief business of the American people is business.”  And Americans have taken it to heart. The United States is home to 12 of the world’s 20 largest companies, according to Forbes.

America also has a deep-seated culture of entrepreneurship. In 2017, the country had a record-high 27 million entrepreneurs — nearly 14 percent of working-age Americans — according to a report from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), sponsored by Babson College and Baruch College.

Curriki’s resources about Entrepreneurship include:

And those are just a few ideas about what makes America America. We’d love to hear any other ideas your students have!


Janet PintoJanet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, leads and manages all of Curriki’s content development, user experience and academic direction. Learn more at Curriki.org.

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Nurturing Entrepreneurs in the Classroom

By Lani deGuia, Guest Blogger and Curriki Member

Almost three-quarters of high school students want to eventually start their own businesses, studies show — and 61% expect to become entrepreneurs right out of college!. Corporate America is now considered a back-up for many of today’s students. Others who hope to enter the nonprofit world might be considered social entrepreneurs.

Either way, we can no longer assume students are going to enter the traditional work force. The climate has shifted, and many are coming up with creative ideas and pursuing their own vision of work or societal contribution.

K-12 education needs to step up to meet these demands of these young entrepreneurs. How can we help them develop the agility they need to succeed?

GettingSmart.com outlines some strategies for making education more entrepreneurial. And here are some Curriki resources that can help!

Source: Pixabay.com

Entrepreneurship Education

  • Can I Be An Entrepreneur?  In this series of activities, students do self-assessments and evaluate their own attributes and personality characteristics to se if an entrepreneurial career is for them.
  • Are Entrepreneurs Modern-Day Heroes? – Law professor Donna Matias defines an entrepreneur as someone able to identify and provide for an unmet need. In short, entrepreneurs are both problem solvers and wealth creators. Extremely successful entrepreneurs, therefore, are not evil. Rather, they are modern day heroes who have managed to effectively fulfill the needs of their consumers.
  • What Makes An Entrepreneur? – This middle school activity has students list characteristics associated with an entrepreneur, which will be used to create a definition.
  • U.S. History:  Inventors and Entrepreneurs  Students learn the difference between inventors and entrepreneurs. They are encouraged to talk with adults to learn some of the benefits inventors and entrepreneurs have provided for society.
  • I Can Be an Entrepreneur – This activity for elementary and middle school students starts as learners are given advice on how they can earn extra money by becoming entrepreneurs. After investigating several web pages that offer examples of what other people their age have done to earn money, students identify three money-making ideas for themselves using criteria such as considering what they would enjoy doing, what they do well, what people are willing to buy, pricing and safety.
  • Changing the World:  Social Entrepreneurs Part I – This lesson addresses the role of social entrepreneurs in effecting positive social change around the world, and introduces students to the concept of social entrepreneurship through research and a graphic organizing activity. Part II can be found here).
  • Be All That You Can Dream – This workshop guides participants through decision making, writing and hands-on activities to experience the operation of a small business. Teams of students choose a business they believe will be successful, determine their target market, figure pricing policies, and “sell” their business ideas to a panel of judges.

Use these activities as a way to create the next generation of informed, inspired business leaders.


Lani deGuia is a Norfolk, VA-based Educational Consultant with experience writing and developing curriculum and managing school technology.

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Civics Education is Making a Comeback

By Lani deGuia, Guest Blogger and Curriki Member

21st century students need more than just preparation for college and careers. Studies indicate the millennial generation is much different from what we may know. With today’s heated political climate, civics has become a center of discussion in schools. In every content area, teachers are seeing politics bleed into class discussions, a sharp contrast to past decades.

US Capitol

Source: Pixabay.com

A Pew Research poll conducted in 2010 indicated that students in general were not familiar with the legislative process and 44% could not name the three branches of government. But today, seven years later, students are hungering for civics education.

We’ve curated some of Curriki’s top civics resources  to enhance your instruction:

Civics Education

  • Learn Liberty Collection  – Learn Liberty is your resource for exploring the ideas of a free society. We tackle big questions about what makes a society free or prosperous and how we can improve the world we live in. Resources in the collection include:
  • Liberty 101  – This video series explains the core principles of a free society and the meaning of liberty.
  • America’s Founding:  The Figures and Ideas That Shaped A Nation  – This video series explains the ideas that inspired a revolution and the significant individuals responsible for founding the nation.
  • Free Speech:  Trigger Warnings, Academic Freedom, and More  – A video series explains the complexity of free speech including hate speech, speech restrictions on college campuses, the Charlie Hebdo massacre, and the use of free speech by oppressed groups to change the world.
  • Real World Dilemmas of the Hunger Games: Liberty and Security – From increasing police militarization, to overreaching government regulation, to the desensitization of culture through mass media, modern America and fictional Panem share qualities that, indeed, threaten both freedom and quality of life.
  • Schools of Thought in Classical Libralism  – This video series explains the origins, basic tenets and philosophies of classical liberalism – like the Austrian School, the Chicago School, Public Choice, Natural Rights, Anarcho-Capitalism and more.
  • Feminism:  A New Perspective  – This video series explains women’s equal rights and opportunities as well as contemporary issues like wage gaps and slut shaming.
  • The Bill of Rights and Freedoms of Press, Assembly, and Petition  – This series of lessons outlines how First Amendment freedoms like press, assembly, and petition are essential to self-government. The Founders saw these freedoms as a bulwark of free, republican government and a means of assuring justice in government.
  • Campaign Wars  – This lesson teaches students about campaigns and elections in the United States. It uses examples from previous campaigns and has students create an original campaign.

Use these activities as a way to inspire students using some of the biggest “hot topics” of their generation. Maximize this opportunity!


Lani deGuia is a Norfolk, VA-based Educational Consultant with experience writing and developing curriculum and managing school technology.

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