The lessons acquired from the GMS Entrepreneurial Program are some of the school’s most profound and long lasting. The program builds on an insight underpinning all instruction at GMS: Project-based work offers the chance to go beyond content mastery. The students develop rarely taught 21st century skills in areas such as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and problem solving.
A year-long, interdisciplinary learning experience, our seventh grade entrepreneurship course challenges teams of girls to design a novel physical product that they manufacture and market to both investors and customers. During the year, each team launches a small company with seed funding from the school. The course apex is a celebratory night during which students present their companies to a panel of respected Silicon Valley investors and sell their products to assembled community members.
The Entrepreneurial Program affects each student in her own way, yet for every girl it is a true highlight of her time at GMS. As they progress through the program, students develop strength in multiple areas including leadership and teamwork, creativity and product design, project and time management, mathematics and economics, communications and marketing, and public speaking. Just as importantly, they finish the program with an understanding of their own capabilities as contributors, leaders, and stronger self-advocates. They learn that girls can be creators of products as much as consumers of them.
Middle school is when students begin forming their adult identities. By helping our girls build confidence and competence into their own self conceptions, we’re setting them up to succeed in the workplace, whatever career they decide to pursue.
Alice Chang, Entrepreneurial Program Director