Students are engaged in an Entrepreneur Venture where they go on a learning journey to discovery what it means to be a 21st Century learner.  Student learning and discovery is immersed by being involved in the Global Competencies and learning about the UN Sustainable Goals. This student lead inquiry based project gives them the opportunity to make decisions so that they are steering their own learning.  Through the Design Thinking and Inquiry Process students will use an empathy approach to solve real problems. Through collaborating on a variety of G Suite tools they create a start up business with the goal being about service learning and spreading awareness about local and global issues.  As reflective learners through this journey students become empowered active citizens who want to create change.

Within my classroom Entrepreneur Venture students are put into 3 companies who then decided collaboratively on:

  • Product/Service

  • Target Audience

  • Use/Benefit of Solution

  • Taking in Further/Next Steps

  • Throughout the process taking an empathy approach while engaging in the design thinking and inquiry process

As students develop ventures different focus areas will connect to business concepts.  During 2017-2018 Business Day venture three company concepts emerged.

  1. EDU Super Holders (mental wellness, organization)

  2. Makery Bakery (healthy eating)

  3. Dipping Doodle Designs (unleashing creativity through creative cup designs, healthy ice organic tea)


Focus for Innovator Project was on EDU Super Holders and using the tools provided. Company members wanted to solve and analyze the issue of self-regulation, organization and supporting students with their mental wellness.

Using the design thinking process and approaching the problem through an empathy lens students designed, built a prototype, iterated and finalized design on a unique pencil holder.  Through a series of lessons connected to language, math, science, social studies, visual arts linked to design thinking/inquiry process students create a business from the ground up while supporting a fellow global citizen.  

Inquiry focus:

How might we empower students to solve problems through innovative thinking?

How might we to solve problems around issues that they are passionate about?

How might we support We Movement to raise funds and spread awareness about children living in Sierra Leone, access to education in an innovative way?



February-May (Business Day Venture-PBL)

Pencil Holder Design (6-10 lessons- 40 minutes in length)

1 Lessons-Completing STEM Notebook (order supplies if necessary)

2-Lessons- Complete Inquiry research on wellness, organization

3-Lessons-Complete building of prototype, iteration, completion of cost analysis, conclusions, research and connection to wellbeing/organization, start to build products to sell to customers (if you are doing this as part of an Entrepreneur Venture more time may be needed to build products)


Big Idea

How might one build a structure that is stable, aesthetically pleasing and able to withstand use over time in order to support students wellbeing and stress level when it comes to organizing ones supplies?


Overall Expectations:

Expectations for this project depends if you are completing an Entrepreneurial Venture or if you are using it as a build design project.

Entrepreneurial Venture:

Language (Reading, Writing, Media Literacy, Oral Communication)

Math (Measurement, Geometry, Number Sense)

Science (Structures)

Social Studies (Global connections and the World)

Arts (Visual Arts, Drama, Music)

Pencil Holder Design:

Math (Geometry, Measurement, Number Sense)

Science (Structures)

Language (Reading, Writing, Media Literacy, Oral Communication)

Key Concepts

  • Understanding which shapes are stable

  • Design thinking process

  • Measurement (units of measure)

  • Tool Safety and use of tools

Prior Knowledge

  • Units of measurement

  • Design thinking process

  • Tool Safety and use of tools

Material and Equipment

  • Jinx Wood

  • Wood Cutting Tools

  • Glue Gun/Hot Glue Sticks


  • Hot Glue Safety

  • Wood Cutting Tools Safety

Instructional Planning and Delivery and Assessment Opportunities

  1. Introduce STEM notebooks and assessment strategies

  2. Review tool safety and glue gun safety

  3. Give students time to complete STEM notebook, designs, build, iterations and cost analysis of different prototypes when determining which design to select.  

  4. Give descriptive feedback on potential designs, and research

  5. Students will engage in the inquiry process to research the importance of student well being and organizational skills to support student success.

  6. Student will present designs to the class and share findings of cost analysis, and research.


  • Success criteria (STEM Notebook)

  • Entrepreneurial Venture- Movie Trailer, Infographic, Letter



STEM Notebook

Entrepreneurship: A Journey Slidedeck