Jump Start is a design thinking and social entrepreneurship program empowering school students to create prosperous futures. Led by Tom Allen (Seven Positive), designed in collaboration with Adam Jefford of Pimpama State Secondary College, this innovative educational program creates future leaders, armed with skills and tools to positively impact their communities.
In creating Jump Start, a strong process of co-design was executed with School Direction and teaching staff to ensure that the program was targeted, relevant and responded directly to the needs of the beneficiaries (primarily student participants, but also teachers who gain knowledge, skills and training in design thinking and social enterprise).
As an experienced Design Strategist and Educator, Tom Allen worked directly with Adam Jefford (HOD, Creative Industries, PSSC) to design a program which not only responded directly to student needs, but it also leveraged existing school infrastructure to provide an end to end learning experience that aligned with greater school objectives.
In 2015, Jump Start operated as a 12 week intensive program for a group of Year 10 students. The experience was very well received with positive feedback obtained from students, parents, teachers, industry and academia involved.
Student outcomes created positive impact for the local community.
Due to last years success, Jump Start has scaled up in 2016 with the intention of creating a larger positive impact for both students and the wider community. The focus has now turned to 85 Junior Secondary students in Years 7 and 8 who will experience Jump Start within their weekly Design Excellence classes and 30 Year 9 students who will engage in industry led projects. Students are confidently tackling a variety of ‘wicked problems’ with a key focus being on waste and responding with innovative solutions.
Engagement with industry, academia and university student role models provides students with real world experience and an enjoyable array of challenges to learn from.
Jump Start gives students a lens through which they can confidently tackle problems and creatively respond with innovative solutions. Students are lead through proven design thinking processes. A blend of the ‘double diamond’ design process with a range of lean start-up, business modelling and social enterprise tools are taught. Students quickly learn how to understand, observe, research and re-define problems. They then respond with a creative process of conceptualisation, iteration, prototyping and testing of ideas. In rapid learning loops, students learn from their successes and failures, test their business models and come up with tried and tested solutions that create positive impact.
“I would 100% recommend Jump Start to other students as it has given me a different set of skills I can apply to my future endeavours.” – Mikayla.
“Jump Start has taught me to look at problems as opportunities.” – Nick.
“Jump Start was fun and taught me a lot about social entrepreneurship and design thinking.” – Dyllan
“The Jump Start program teaches students entrepreneurship and gives them the confidence to think for themselves. We need to encourage risk taking and creative thought and to allow students to come up with quirky solutions to problems. That’s what entrepreneurship is all about. It’s about giving young people the license to take risks.” – John Thornberry, Principal, PSSC.
The Jump Start project is funded through the Investing for Success (I4S) initiative to provide funding to support students to achieve improved outcomes at all levels of schooling. In what we believe is an Australian first, and in the spirit of Advancing Education and the Innovation and Science Agenda, the Jump Start project will develop and foster contemporary and relevant learning opportunities which prepare students for future challenges. The innovative use of the I4S funding allows for the project to be scaled to other schools (and students) so that they are able to access Jump Start.
Jump Start is unique in the way the program combines Design Thinking with Social Enterprise to engage high school students in a creative learning environment that propels forward social innovation. This empowers students to create positive impact for the local community through student-led initiatives. Whilst using Design Thinking in high schools is not new, Jump Start builds on the value of this creative process and furthers student knowledge and skills in social innovation by providing tools and experience in Social Enterprise and other entrepreneurial endeavors. Understanding business modeling, lean startup theory & networking with industry, means students are well equipped to create sustainable businesses.
Data collected from student surveys conducted at the beginning and end of the program shows a noticeable improvement in student’s perceived knowledge about entrepreneurship, design thinking and social enterprise. Students reported that failing also worried them less after the program and that they had gained more confidence in public speaking. Data also showed a shift towards students perceiving themselves as leaders after completion of the program.
Student projects are centred on creating positive social impact for the community. Previous student led projects have aimed to:
– skill and educate students in the regional area
– create zero waste schools
– provide awareness about waste to Australian students
Students participating in the Jump Start program not only learn how to be effective social innovators, but they also gain knowledge and skills in sustainable design practices, product life cycle and a strong awareness of environmental and social issues. The core focus of student projects is to create opportunities for the community and tackle wicked problems, providing stewardship of environmental and social justice issues to design a better future for all.
Students engage with industry leaders in the field. Current engagement includes project participation from Five Oceans (in reusing plastic waste to develop surf products) and will include field trips to environment and waste management facilities.