Denise Couture and I recently had the opportunity to meet with students from the Velocity Academy, a project-based learning program at Shattuck Middle School. The curriculum is designed to provide hands-on learning opportunities for seventh- and eighth-graders. The program coordinator Kyle Popp invited us to speak to the students about Innovation.

VelocityWe shared information about discovery, invention and innovation, and conducted an exercise where students ideated around two products, a tablet computer and a student backpack, and one service, the school lunch service. Needless to say, there were some very creative ideas.

As a follow-up activity, I was invited to be one the “Sharks” that reviewed the Velocity Entrepreneurs and their inventions. We heard about pre-sliced lettuce; a backpack that opens from the bottom for easy cleaning; a beanie clip to hold your hat in place; an “Amousement Park“ to entertain your pet mouse; a couch modification to prevent lost remotes; a six-in-one alarm clock; a redesigned shoe box called shahbox; a new basketball shoe super grip; a squishbook that prevents being poked by the spiral wires on notebooks, especially handy for left-handed people; and a plan to provide clean water to a thirsty population. Again, all very creative ideas developed by these seventh- and eighth-grade entrepreneurs.

I applaud the efforts of Kyle and the other teachers as they engage, empower and motivate students by exploring the topic of innovation in their middle school curriculum. You can follow Velocity Academy on Twitter @VelocityAcademy and visit their FaceBook page – Velocity Academy.

Pat Clusman is the Chief Operating Officer at Innovationedge. Follow Pat on Twitter @pclusman

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