“The goal was to teach the kids a process of thinking that entrepreneurs use to think about developing new products and show them how real world businesses solve problems,” said Dave Cook, Cary-Grove VEI teacher.
The Design Sprint began with students identifying a problem. They brainstormed ideas and narrowed them down. Each group created a journey map which identified phases, goals, pain points, and a job story. On the ninth day, students pitched their product to four different focus groups made up of business professionals, booster club members, and other students for feedback.
“I learned so much. Just the phases of ideas and going through them from an idea to a final product is so complex, you’re dissecting and analyzing. You flush through so many ideas to find out what works and what doesn't," said Kiara Rowe, Cary-Grove senior.
The Design Sprint lesson is part of a bigger goal to implement a “real business” in the VEI class. VEI gives students hands-on business experience while working and managing other students with a virtual component and students compete against 500 other high schools.
“We hope that the outcome of this process will be a product that we can sell at Cary-Grove or in the local community. It is hard to imagine that in 10 school days of 45 minute per day that kids could create a viable product to sell, but we have been amazed to see the creativity and ingenuity of the kids,” said Cook.