During the Primary School Open Day I taught an Enterprise Workshop to four classes of 35+ Primary School students. The forty minute long Enterprise Ideation exercises broke up classes of 35+ into groups of 6/7. Groups were given a random object and instructed to come up with as many alternative uses for the object as possible in five minutes. They then had to pick their best idea, develop this idea and choose up to two members of their team to pitch their idea to myself (the proverbial Richard Branson) and the rest of their class in thirty seconds. In this way the students were introduced to the concept of Elevator pitches and had an opportunity to practice their public speaking skills and work on summarising ideas and communicating to convince.
Once all teams had pitched their ideas to the room, teams had to vote on the most successful pitch by clapping and cheering for their favourite idea as I went around the room encouraging each team to raise their object and announce their concept to the room one at a time. The team and idea that received the loudest cheers won and the workshop ended by congratulating all teams on their great ideas and brave pitches.
Students and teachers alike seemed to enjoy the ideation and pitching exercises. The students learnt how to work in teams, how to share time between group members in examining the object, how to delegate the task of writing down their ideas; how to choose from one idea out of several, how to vote for an idea that is not their own, how to think creatively and they practiced public speaking at the front of the class to their peers. Therefore, as result of such activities student may be inspired to think creatively, make the most of opportunities and develop enterprising habits later in life.
I learnt a great deal about myself and this opportunity truly developed my confidence in leading and managing larger groups. My awareness grew when it came to balancing involvement and questions from more confident students with encouraging less confident or vocal students to share their ideas and participate in the Elevator style pitching.
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