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As I began my career in teaching, I quickly realized that the only way to help students appreciate some of the more abstract content I was teaching was to peak their interest. What could be more interesting than creating your own business? When it comes to money, students always seem to be on the edge of their seats, ready to pitch their idea. From the moment students conceived their idea, they became completely responsible for every aspect of their business. Students assume roles including designers, marketers, sales, accountants and of course CEOs. While not explicitly in any one curriculum, the entrepreneurial process allowed me to teach concepts in mathematics, science, social studies and language arts at the same time as giving students an insight into their potential future as an entrepreneur. Students quickly realized that money was not the only motivational moment of an entrepreneurial venture. Over the years, the opportunities for student learning are as unique as the inventions they conceive. While there always seems to be invention ideas that never make it past the “idea-generation” phase (students learned very quickly that even if they want buckets and buckets of slime, that may not be true for the larger market), every failed idea is another opportunity to learn. While I am never able to predict the entrepreneurial venture my students will create, I can

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Taggie Blankies: All proceeds went to Fredericton Homeless Shelters.

always be certain that they will become leaders rather than learners. Year 1: “Amplifying Awareness” Long before Bluetooth speakers became the norm, everyone was relying on the science of a drinking glass to amplify the Justin Beiber coming from their device. It was as if science became magic as you placed your lacklustre iPod, speaker down, into an empty glass and suddenly the room was filled with sound. After breaking one too many glasses, students were inspired to make their own passive amplifier. Over a few weeks, students created a design that they were convinced would sell. Unfortunately their design required technical knowledge and tools that were not available to them. Through learning about outsourcing students found a local wood shop that prototyped their design. After a third prototype and hours of sanding, students sold over 100 amplifiers to audio aficionados around Fredericton. Year 2: “Taggie Blankies” This was a particularly heartwarming year. While the product was simple, the reason was deliberate. The proceeds from this year’s project went to support the Fredericton Homeless Shelters. In addition to the sale of the blankets, students also made an assortment of warm blankets to be donated directly to the shelter. One -3-

memorable moment from this project was how a business to create dog-toys turned into a blanket business. When testing the quality of their original product, fleece dog pulls, students realized that their dogs at home tore through the fabric at an alarming rate! Furthermore, it would not be safe for canine friends to ingest these products. It was quite the turn of events for a business to completely change their market focus, but a change that proved to be inspirational to many. fabric at an alarming rate! Furthermore, it would not be safe for canine friends to ingest these products. It was quite the turn of events for a business to completely change their market focus, but a change that proved to be inspirational to many. Year 3: “The 7Cs” 3D Printed Cookie Cutters. This was the year that Brilliant Labs helped Bliss Carman Middle School open their Makerspace. One of the tools that attracted the most attention was the 3D printer. One of my students happened

"While I am never able to predict the entrepreneurial venture my students will create, I can always be certain that they will become leaders rather than learners. "

-Natash Lingley, Teacher, Blisscarman Middle School

Profile for BrilliantLabs

Brilliant Labs Magazine: The Entrepreneurial Spirit  

In this issue we will explore what it means to be an entrepreneur through the stories of youth, educators and established entrepreneurs alik...

Brilliant Labs Magazine: The Entrepreneurial Spirit  

In this issue we will explore what it means to be an entrepreneur through the stories of youth, educators and established entrepreneurs alik...