SCH's 2019-2020 Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership brochure

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springside chestnut hill academy



The Sands Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership is committed to developing an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset in every student at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. This innovative program enhances Pre-K–12 education with learning opportunities and classes that empower students to shape their futures and the world.



program overview

BUILDING AN ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET & SKILLSET At SCH, entrepreneurship is an approach to problem solving. The CEL program prioritizes the development of four key traits that comprise the entrepreneurial mindset: opportunity seeking, creative problem solving, resiliency, and resourcefulness. Equipped with this mindset, our students take on interesting challenges that connect with their passions and graduate with a competitive advantage. To instill this mindset in every student, CEL is integrated into the Pre-K–12 school experience. Projectbased challenges in the classroom provide an opportunity for students to build this way of thinking while practicing entrepreneurial skills in the areas of business, design, and technology. The Pre-K–9th grade curriculum is embedded into the student’s schedule, building toward a Capstone experience in which all sophomores launch a venture. In 11th and 12th grade, students can continue to pursue their ventures through a variety of electives and independent study opportunities, including the Venture Accelerator. Students interested in launching a venture prior to the 10th grade are encouraged to apply to the selective Venture Incubator extracurricular.

OPPORTUNITY SEEKING See and experience problems as opportunities in order to create solutions.


Work diligently to overcome adversity and develop perseverance in pursuit of goals.



Independently seek out

Create solutions to problems without clearly defined structures using design thinking, exploration, and creativity.

resources and references to advance the development of projects and ventures.


The Challenge: Involve more young women in protecting the environment.


CEL was so much more than just technical skills. The program really fostered resiliency in me. I learned how to think about problems in a multifaceted way and to come up with creative solutions. The lessons I learned through CEL have been applicable in all aspects of life, especially now that I am in college. Rekha ’17

• • •

The Solution: The Girls Climate Summit An annual event to educate young women on climate change, featuring workshops, speakers, presentations, team-building activities, and thoughtprovoking conversations.

Brown University, Class of 2021 Presenter at TEDx Invited speaker to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Below and on the following pages, CEL’s curricular progression is graphically expressed through the yellow dots.

PRE-K–4th GRADE Lower School students work in teams to solve real-world problems using empathy, creativity, and design thinking.

5th-9th GRADE

10th GRADE

11th-12th GRADE

Every SCH student learns business, design, and technology skills through project-based CEL courses.

Students launch a unique venture inspired by their passions and supported by their strengths.

Select students go beyond the classroom to build personal networks and pursue their “big idea.”





pre-k– 4 th

design challenges

2ND GRADE BOYS The Challenge: Make it easier for new students, visitors, and classmates to make friends.

Every year, Pre-K–4th grade students tackle at least one unique CEL project. They channel boundless creativity and curiosity into real-world challenges by solving problems for others, including peers, school leaders, and even animals. Students are often inspired to pursue environmentally focused ventures as they observe the nature surrounding our campus. Through these design-thinking experiences, they learn to see problems as opportunities to create solutions.

The Solution: Friend-Making Spaces The boys created spaces throughout the school campus where students can meet and interact by playing games together. They also created a series of videos to encourage the use of these spaces.


skills-based courses

To execute their entrepreneurial ideas, students need a foundational skillset that requires knowledge in areas outside of a traditional education. The CEL curriculum is the product of a cross-disciplinary collaboration in business, design, and technology and serves as a model for the creative problem solving we ask of our students. All SCH students experience this curriculum starting in the 5th grade. CEL classes provide the supportive space to experiment, play, and learn from failure. Expert faculty guide students through project-based experiences that engage their entrepreneurial mindset and provide them with the technical skills they will need to bring their ideas to life.






Adventures in New Media

LEGO Robotics

Introduction to Coding

Environmental Technology

Electronics & Microprocessors

Digital Storytelling-Audio

Digital Storytelling-Video

Media & Presentation

Digital Publishing

Intro to App Development

Collaboration & Teamwork

Social Entrepreneurship

Graphic Design

Money Matters

Research, Data & Analysis


Business | New Media | Coding | Engineering | Communication | Collaboration

CEL has given me a lot of opportunities that I couldn’t find anywhere else— opportunities like getting a full ride to college in San Francisco, making powerful mentor connections, and launching my own clothing line with customers and a live website. Where else can a high school student get that? Bobby ’19 5

pre-k–9th cour

Pre-K –







Our youngest learners begin to develop their entrepreneurial mindsets through project-based activities as they design solutions to problems observed around them. To provide a safe place for hibernating insects over the winter, Kindergartners designed and built a “Mini-Beast Mansion” in our woods.

Just as painters use paintbrushes, students in this new media class learn how to use digital technologies to express themselves in a rapidly converging world. Through a variety of project-based experiences, students build robots. learn digital fabrication skills like 3D printing, laser cutting, and vinyl cutting, and even create interactive sound and video assets.

Through the KIVA web platform, students research and identify entrepreneurs in developing regions of the world seeking small loans for their ventures. The students create and sell products to raise funds, then use the proceeds to make microloans to the entrepreneurs. To date, students in this course have made 107 loans in 39 countries, totaling over $4,500.

For additional course descriptions, visit us online at


se highlights







In order to bring an idea to life, students must be able to communicate clearly and compellingly, making use of the latest in digital technology and video. In this 7th grade course, each student is tasked with crafting an original ‘TED Talk,’ culminating in a live presentation and media showcase.

Students explore the variety of factors that drive the economy and how those factors affect their lives. Through project-based experiences, they learn the fundamentals of personal finance as well as the costs and considerations of starting a small business.

Students learn the foundations of app development through a blended learning experience of online tutorials and oneon-one mentorship. Students have the opportunity to apply this learning to their own original application in the 10th grade Capstone program.

What really drew me to the CEL program is the fact that kids aren’t only encouraged to find innovative, interesting solutions to the everyday problems they see around them, but they’re also given a chance and opportunity to make change happen. Emma ’20 7


the capstone

All SCH sophomores engage in the CEL Capstone—a unique, self-directed project design experience. With the support of dedicated faculty mentors and access to specialized studios, students bring ideas inspired by their personal passions to life using the business, design, and technology skills learned in previous CEL classes. Students may elect to continue their work in their junior and senior years through the Venture Accelerator.






Discover DECIDE on the problem you want to solve. Analyze the market space and competition. Pitch your idea to an audience of teachers and peers.

REFLECT and brainstorm to determine possible solutions. Build a team, select a mentor, and get started.



BUILD your prototype. Gather data from customers. Prove that your idea can make a real impact.

DEMONSTRATE your work at Capstone Showcase Night. Reflect on lessons learned and next steps.

CEL taught me how to evaluate, prototype, and test my ideas. My love for entrepreneurship was spurred and I started to observe and track all the pain points in my life, eager to come up with solutions. CEL made me decide that I want to pursue entrepreneurship in the future and make the world a better place. Fred ’18



Our 10th graders join one of five studios (App, Invention, New Media, Social Impact, Startup) as their “home base” for the duration of Capstone. The studios are led by an interdisciplinary team of CEL mentors who provide personalized support to each project. This collaborative environment encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning as they share ideas, receive feedback, and discover more about themselves.


STUDIOS Invention

New Media


The Challenge: Eliminate the presence of single-use plastics in the ocean.

The Solution: PlanIT A creative workspace that inspires earth-friendly innovation by transforming used plastic bottles into 3D-printer filament. For every bottle collected, consumers receive PlanIT store credits that they can spend on digital design classes, spools of filament, and other recycled retail products.

The CEL program gave me much more than a curriculum in which I could explore an idea. CEL taught me lifelong lessons through a hands-on approach. It taught me patience. perseverance, responsibility, and much more about myself. Caroline ’21


Social Impact


venture accelerator Students in their junior and senior years are eligible to apply for the Venture Accelerator. This culminating experience gives students the chance to fully launch the ideas that they have investigated, tested, and prototyped through the Venture Incubator and Capstone programs. Venture Accelerator students connect with various mentors and investors, hire staff, file for trademarks and legal business entities, sell in the marketplace, and raise initial startup capital.

• • •


Wharton, Class of 2022 Diamond Challenge Competition winner TYE Youth Entrepreneurship finalist

The Challenge: Transform the way that students research and apply to college.

The Solution: CampusSelect A web platform that uses video chat to connect high school students in the college search process with like-minded undergraduates at the schools they’re considering for a firsthand student perspective.

What drew me to CEL is that you can take an idea from scratch and build it into something real. It put me in the driver’s seat. I had to be disciplined and stay determined. I was able to grow my personal network, discover new opportunities, and create a real, impactful business. I am grateful for CEL—it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, especially for students with passion and ambition. Andrew ’18


venture incubator The CEL Venture Incubator is an extracurricular opportunity open to students below 10th grade who are interested in developing a business venture. Individuals and teams submit their ideas for review and, if selected, are partnered with external mentors who help them navigate the various phases of taking an idea from rough concept to authentic outcome. Throughout the process, students are given the opportunity to pitch their business plans to seasoned investors and entrepreneurs.

Gretel ’25

Being a part of this program and learning from it not only helped me start a business, but helped me with general problem solving and public speaking. I learned an entrepreneur solves problems with perseverance but doesn’t need to be afraid to ask for help. Working with my mentors helped me learn to lay out what I need to do, organize my thoughts, and end up with a better final product. I learned how to take a thought, put it into action, and be a better speaker.

GRETEL The Challenge: Provide a fun, simple, and inexpensive way for kids to learn basic art techniques.

The Solution: Artist First Step A monthly subscription box service delivering high-quality art supplies right to your doorstep. With these materials, young artists follow along with Artist First Step instructional videos to complete crafts like mandala drawing, watercolor landscapes, and handmade postcards.


Syracuse University, Class of 2023 Franklin and Margaret Steele Entrepreneurship Fund recipient

• •

After going through the CEL program, I learned that I want to be innovative. I want to learn about new technology and force myself to go out of my comfort zone, because if I do, then I will have a really good chance at creating my own successful startup. Alexa ’19

ALEXA The Challenge: To preserve memories with a simple and beautiful accessory.

The Solution: Audrey’s Accessories A line of sophisticated jewelry inspired by Alexa’s grandmother. Audrey. Audrey’s Accessories are designed to promote Alzheimer’s Disease awareness, create a global support system, and fund research that will slow down memory loss.


For more information on the CEL program, contact Ed Glassman, Executive Director 215-261-6966

The Sands Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership is exploring new ways of innovating in the Pre-K–12 environment. I am so impressed to see students create their own ventures using design thinking, technology, and collaboration skills to solve big problems and make a positive and lasting impact on the world around them. Barbara “Bobbi” Kurshan, Executive Director of Academic Innovation and Senior Fellow in Education, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania

By emphasizing an entrepreneurial mindset and integrating problem solving and design thinking across the curriculum, the Sands Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership gives SCH students a competitive advantage in our rapidly changing job market.

Michael Golden, Co-Founder of GSI Commerce and SCH Parent

In CEL, while learning how to identify problems in the world around them and create businesses with the potential to solve these problems, our kids are also using their education in ways we couldn’t previously imagine. Watching a child stand in front of a room full of seasoned business people and articulate their economic model and go-to-market strategy will forever change your opinion of what kids are capable of.

Ian P. Sladen, Vice President of Corporate Education and Career Development, Drexel University

springside chestnut hill academy 500 West Willow Grove Avenue • Philadelphia, PA 19118-4198 215-247-7007 | SCH.ORG