New programs extend, broaden learning opportunities
It’s a warm, sunny morning in mid-July—peak summer vacation time—and Ethan Farrell, a high school senior from Cleveland, Ohio, is standing at the front of a classroom in the Mars Center for Science and Technology, pitching a business idea.
Farrell is the last of six teens in Discover@Wheaton’s “Innovation and Social Change” class to deliver a rocket pitch—a three-minute presentation aimed at potential investors (played by President Dennis M. Hanno, Associate Professor Kim Miller, and student mentors Leslie Gould ’15, Andrew Mani ’16 and Jackson Towle ’16).
“Rivers, streams, fish, birds … they’re everywhere, but what if they weren’t?” Farrell begins. His idea is to design a system to catch salt and sediment from roads and prevent harmful buildup in watersheds. He plans to market the system to parks and cities.
After his presentation, Farrell receives feedback from the class. Then the “investors” head out into the hallway to decide which two projects will move on. From here, the high schoolers will split into two groups and spend the last two weeks of the inaugural Discover@Wheaton Summer College for High School Students developing their ideas into real businesses—all while attending class for four hours a day and daily workshops on subjects such as PowerPoint and LinkedIn, working their way through three textbooks and several articles and films, and participating in academic and social activities outside of class.
Summer vacation? Not exactly. This is the new summer at Wheaton—a wider-reaching, more broadly defined type of liberal arts education—and things are heating up. [Read more...]