By Zach Chien ’13, BCIL Entrepreneurship Coordinator
This year the BCIL has continued to develop its K-12 social entrepreneurial programming so students have the tools, resources, and skills to turn their innovative ideas into action and impact.
In the Upper School we launched a new set of Upper School Independent Study offerings to complement our Entrepreneurship I and II courses. Students are generating a breadth of creative projects with a couple exciting highlights including a patent-pending device that monitors water and gas flow and detects leakages, and an app that helps residents stay informed and voice their opinions on rising policies and developments in their communities.
Sienna N. ’23 is currently enrolled in a BCIL independent study to help launch her app, CityPoll. She has been working on formulating a pitch, developing user personas, and connecting with a mentor who specializes in social entrepreneurship. She described the value of this program: “Our one-on-one weekly meetings have been super beneficial as I've been able to receive advice catered to my specific vision. The group meetings with all BCIL Independent Study students have also been a very special experience because I've had the opportunity to share and receive feedback from fellow high school entrepreneurs whose projects are in a similar stage.”
Last week in the Lower School, we kicked off an entrepreneurship unit with our 4th graders. In this unit students are building on the learning in their Checkbook Math curriculum and brainstorming products that improve wellbeing. This unit is being co-taught by Lower School BCIL Curriculum Innovator and Collaborator Gina Rocca and 4th grade Associate Teacher Lauren Weisfeld. Over the next several weeks, students will have the chance to refine their ideas and seek feedback from other students before entering the later stages of planning, including budgeting and advertising their product.
Outside the classroom, we welcomed a new Social Entrepreneurship Club + Exploratory in the Middle and Upper School, and we’re gearing up for the annual BCIL Innovation Challenge. The Innovation Challenge is a 6-12th Grade event inviting students to learn how to recognize opportunities and use their creativity to imagine impactful solutions to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We provided workshops for those interested in the Middle and Upper School, and have been meeting individually with students to refine their ideas. We’re quickly approaching the December 1st submission deadline, so we encourage everyone to participate and have a chance to pitch their ideas to a panel of distinguished judges from around the world.