Reflections, Feedback and Data From A High School Design and Entrepreneurship Program

At the end of our first full year of the Jump Start project, I wanted to reflect on and share our journey. Over the next two posts, I will discuss the impact of the program, the rationale and research which has underpinned the development of the project and of course, how we are measuring our students success. 

The goal of the Jump Start project is to provide opportunities for young people to develop the critical skills of a successful citizen in the 21st century. These skills include critical and creative thinking, being innovators and knowledge contributors, being resilient and reflective learners and being entrepreneurial in responding to social issues within the community. 

Creativity and innovation are incredibly difficult to both define and measure. However, we attempted to measure learning in these areas through qualitative measures and objective observations of the success of completed projects.

The Jump Start project ran in 2016 with 60 students in Year 7 and 30 students in Year 8 (with a further 30 Year 9 students who worked with Five Oceans in Semester 2). To test the success of the program other Year 7 and 8 classes not participating in Jump Start were used as control groups in order to identify any significant differences in both academic achievement and engagement.

Quantitative data was also gathered to demonstrate the success of the program through a comparison of academic achievement between students participating in the Jump Start curriculum in the Year 7 and 8 Designing Futures subject and those that were in Designing Futures but doing the current curriculum. The level of student engagement could also be compared by using data collected from the results for ‘Effort’ as recorded on student reports.

 

Measuring Success

There were significant differences in both Year 7 and 8 classes participating in Jump Start compared with classes from the same cohort that were not. 

comparisonDataYr7
This table highlights the difference in academic performance between the two groups of students in Year 7. Both Jump Start Class A and B had an A-B percentage of 100% and 85% respectively. Other classes ranged from 34% A-B up to 60% A-B.

This table highlights the difference in academic performance between the two groups of students in Year 7. Both Jump Start Class A and B had an A-B percentage of 100% and 85% respectively. Other classes ranged from 34% A-B up to 60% A-B.

This graph compares of levels of engagement between Year 7 students in Jump Start and Designing Futures. Engagement is determined by the result for ‘Effort’ as indicated on the school report. This graph shows that 96% of the students in Jump Start received an Excellent of Very Good for Effort compared with 68% in classes not participating in Jump Start.

This graph compares of levels of engagement between Year 7 students in Jump Start and Designing Futures. Engagement is determined by the result for ‘Effort’ as indicated on the school report. This graph shows that 96% of the students in Jump Start received an Excellent of Very Good for Effort compared with 68% in classes not participating in Jump Start.

comparisonDataYr8
This table highlights the differences of Year 8 students participating in Jump Start compared with those that were not. 77% of Year 8 Jump Start students achieved an A or B compared with the other classes that ranged from 34% to 61%.

This table highlights the differences of Year 8 students participating in Jump Start compared with those that were not. 77% of Year 8 Jump Start students achieved an A or B compared with the other classes that ranged from 34% to 61%.

This graph compares levels of engagement between Year 8 students in Jump Start and Designing Futures. Engagement is determined by the result for ‘Effort’ as indicated on the school report. This graph shows that 81% of students in Year 8 Jump Start received Excellent or Very Good for Effort compared with 51% in non-Jump Start classes.

This graph compares levels of engagement between Year 8 students in Jump Start and Designing Futures. Engagement is determined by the result for ‘Effort’ as indicated on the school report. This graph shows that 81% of students in Year 8 Jump Start received Excellent or Very Good for Effort compared with 51% in non-Jump Start classes.

Qualitative Data collected from student surveys conducted at the beginning and end of the program also 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.

Students were also asked to reflect upon their experience in Jump Start and provide feedback and a testimonial about their experience. 

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. An inspirational and educational introduction to business, design and crowdfunding. 
Benjamin
I would recommend the program to other students because it gives them another way to ideate ideas, learn time management skills and be a team player throughout the program.
Kyle

In my next post, I will delete a little deeper into the research which has underpinned the development of the Jump Start project.