My name is Katherine. I am an elementary school STEM, innovation, entrepreneurship, and art teacher at Washington Episcopal School. Before my career in education, I worked over a decade in the consumer product business, as well as in the fields of advertising and marketing. My career in business mixed with my experience and passion for science, design, and innovation are intertwined in my teaching and my curriculum. The STEM curriculum I designed explores concepts in STEM, innovation and entrepreneurship and how the relationships of these topics advance our society and help us better understand our world. As a teacher, my goal is to educate and inspire students so they will be well equipped for the future.
Recently I was accepted into the 2018 SET Lab delegation, where I’ll be designing, documenting, and presenting a study in my particular content area, with the help of a SET Lab consultant.
Entrepreneurship is one component of the units I teach and I want to know if people believe teaching business skills to elementary students is important and beneficial. It is fairly uncommon to teach entrepreneurship in elementary school; I am looking to show the depth of learning, transferable skills, and ultimately the significant value/benefits of teaching business to children. I am looking to give validity to the STEM, innovation, and entrepreneurship class I run in hopes that other schools will adopt similar best practices to help the next generation of students’ education for the 21st century. My official question I will be researching this year is, “Do parents and students perceive entrepreneurship skills important for elementary students to learn, and if so, why?”
I hypothesize that parents, educators, administrators, and students will perceive teaching business skills to elementary students as important because it teaches and/or improves:
Communication (marketing and interpersonal skills)
Business skills (how to launch a business idea, customer awareness),
Responsibility (business and social, empathy)
Creative Thinking Skills-fostering curiosity, inspiration, ingenuity, problem solving, etc.
Collaboration-how to work well with others
As a quantitative study my dependent variables are parent, student, educator, and administrator perceptions while my independent variable is the STEM, innovation, and entrepreneurship curriculum I teach.
You can track my progress here on Medium. For more on this study, and the other great research projects from this year’s delegation follow the hashtags #educationalscientist and #SETlab