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New course teaches real world skills

Students collaborate in class.
Anna ’19 and Kyra ’18 survey younger students for the Entrepreneurship Class.

Every B period this semester in the Special Projects  Academic Resource Center (SPARC), 15 Upper School students explore how to develop leadership skills through science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in the new class “Entrepreneurship: Explore, Design, Launch, Lead.” taught by Assistant Division Director and Dean of Student Life, Regina Rosi, and Associate Director of Academic Technology, Shauna Callahan. The “Entrepreneurship Class” strives to teach leadership, creativity and problem solving skills through hands-on learning and workshops.

Assistant Head of School and Head of Upper School Laura Hotchkiss ’86 said the goals of the “Entrepreneurship Class” are to incorporate the STEM initiative as well as social entrepreneurship to help improve the world. Marlborough’s STEM program aims to instill a sense of love for creativity and problem solving, while encouraging students to be enthusiastic about STEM fields.

According to Rosi, the course prepares Marlborough students for an unknown future, using methodology new to Marlborough. Instead of relying on textbooks and lectures to teach leadership, public speaking and STEM. Rosi and Callahan designed a workshop-based curriculum.

Rosi and Callahan visited six schools on the East Coast last November to do research for their new leadership program, and in last February they attended the Online Education Symposium for Independent Schools Conference (OESIS) to learn more about how they could organize the new course and eventually model the “Entrepreneurship Class” curriculum on the program at OESIS.

Student Elle ‘19 explains that the “Entrepreneurship Class” has already taught her the importance of using criticism constructively.

“[Entrepreneurship] allows you take that criticism and find positivity in it to develop a better solution… and to accept that knowledge with the approach that allows for more efficient learning” Elle said.

Elle and her classmates will partner with real start-up companies to solve real world problems.  Rosi will name the partner companies in October. Rosi said she is hopeful that students gaining such real world experience will be better able to approach problem solving creatively.

Using a pass-fail grading system, the course discourages students from looking to teachers and textbooks for pre-formulated answers. Instead, students try to seek practical solutions to real world problems themselves. The “Entrepreneurship Class” prioritizes refining imperfections over attaining perfection.

Ultimately, Rosi and Callahan said that they hope that the “Entrepreneurship Class” will help Marlborough achieve its goals of teaching girls to be leaders.

“[We are] developing leadership as a hallmark of the Marlborough experience and Marlborough education,” Rosi said.