Lower Merion High School's Entrepreneurship and Advanced Entrepreneurship courses employ active learning strategies to provide students practical experience in applying their knowledge in the context of real life business scenarios, ultimately challenging students to bring their very own entrepreneurial ventures to life.
The courses allow students latitude to explore individual business interests while having the opportunity to develop practical skill sets in marketing, advertising, communication, accounting, finance and management, all while fostering success in current and future ventures.
"Our class allows each student the freedom to be creative and innovative with their own ideas," explained LMHS Business Education teacher Tina Williams. "As the teacher in the room, it is my task to help guide each student entrepreneur. We give each student a jumpstart by financing their first 'Quick and Cheap' idea providing the opportunity to experience what it is like to become an Entrepreneur. Having the opportunity to generate income and then re-invest this income into their very own company gives our students an edge and authentic advantage."
Throughout the semester, students work to complete a pair of primary projects. The first is the aforementioned "Quick & Cheap" assignment where each student brainstorms 25 ideas before narrowing the list down to what they deem is their best, most viable option. Students then compete to see who can sell out their products first. Past "Quick & Cheap" winning products include customized "popsocket" phone accessories, iPhone chargers, keyboard covers and plants for teacher's desks.
The second project, which is a semester-long endeavor, is the Elevator Pitch - similar to the popular television show, Shark Tank - where students pitch the original ideas they have been working on to a panel of judges as they make a case for their product. Several LMHS students currently have products and services available in various stages of development - ranging from a perfume company to a school-based social media site – demonstrating the creativity and ingenuity of Williams' Entrepreneurship cohort.
- Ninth grade student Adam Chen created My Schoolwide Classroom as a school-based social media site that enables users to stay connected on a variety of topics and issues. Students can read the school newspaper's best articles on the site's news aggregator and stay up-to-date on school-specific events and lunch specials. My Schoolwide Classroom also features a Homework Help section that allows students to find help or tutoring in subjects where they need assistance, as well as a Marketplace, which allows for the buying and selling of education-related goods and services.
- Senior Summar Jeudy and her sister, ninth-grader Ellissa Jeudy, realized that perfume can be extremely costly, especially if you are a student. To remedy the issue, the sisters founded Jeudy, LLC – a company that offers great smelling perfumes at an affordable price. Summar and Ellissa began networking and ultimately partnered with the CEO of a perfume lab to customize and hand-select their scents, which are available here.
- Ninth grader Jacob Altshuler combined his love of sports, pop culture and the digital arts to create The Editor's Touch, a sports memorabilia and photo editing business that produces eye-catching edits and imagery of professional athletes, rappers and musicians. The Editor's Touch also takes requests for personalized edits and provides photo enhancement services of personal pictures.
- Freshman Kohana Bondurant started Graduation Memories as a way for graduating seniors to show their school spirit and celebrate all they have accomplished during their time in high school by providing a service that customizes graduation caps. Graduation Memories allows customers to select between a variety of colors, logos and Lower Merion-related images, along with the options of including a quote, their graduation year, and several other customizations.
LMSD offers a transformative interdisciplinary curriculum that is student-driven and fosters innovation and positive risk-taking. It transcends Standards, is inquiry-based, and connects the classroom to the world. Our curriculum encompasses diverse perspectives, promotes global awareness, and makes use of culturally responsive teaching and learning practices. This dynamic, adaptable curriculum provides vertically and horizontally aligned curricular experiences, ensuring every student learns from the connections across subject areas and receives a comprehensive and balanced education. Subject material is relevant to the world our children will enter in college and as adults. Innovation is the rule and not the exception.