Cool Schools: Big business helps high tech teens

Argyle Middle School solves problems for big businesses with STEM subjects.

SILVER SPRING, Md. (WUSA9) -- Students at Argyle Middle School are solving problems for real businesses by using the programming and tech skills they already have.

Non-profit Junior Achievement is the major thrust behind the project. They help to shape the students' ideas into a viable small business venture.

Chelsea Soneira is the education coordinator for Junior Achievement, and she gets them started.

"They have to actually develop their tech product, they have to make a marketing plan for it. They have to do market research so all of the elements that you would have to fit into a multi-person organization, they're doing so they are just building their entrepreneurial skills."

That's how they were able to help Andrew Brown of World Bridge Health.

His company builds hospitals in third world countries. Students used their programming knowledge to build him a model on a 3D printer to help sell his latest project.

"That gives me something solid to take to an investor or somebody interested and we can be: hey this is what we are trying to build this is who it can serve this is what it will look like."

Brown says he's also impressed about how much the students communication skills improved throughout the project. Eighth grader Sanjana Kottapalli says that was a huge hurdle for her.

"It was different because I'm really a shy person and I've never really interviewed anyone before and so I also helped do the camera work and it was pretty interesting."

Junior Achievement is hoping to expand the project next year.


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