SAN DIEGO, March 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- This Spring, 20 high school skilled trades classrooms in four US cities have the opportunity to put entrepreneurship to work at the center of their learning experience. With the guidance of Real World Scholars (RWS) and support from Harbor Freight Tools for Schools (HFTFS), students are starting class-run businesses with teachers as their coaches throughout this unique learning experience.
The initiative, Harbor Freight EdCorps, allows skilled trades classrooms to use Real World Scholars' existing Education Corporation (EdCorps) model to incorporate entrepreneurship into everyday learning. "We are so excited to welcome these educators to the EdCorps Community," said RWS Co-founder Elyse Burden, who was recently recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Education. "We're looking forward to seeing how entrepreneurship empowers these students to take ownership of their learning and skill sets – especially as it applies to their prospects for the future."
This new cohort of classrooms includes educators based in Pittsburgh, Chattanooga, Kansas City, and San Diego. Classrooms focus on various skilled trades, from construction and welding to engineering and agriculture technology. Because many skilled trades classrooms already create tangible products, running a business is a natural transition that provides students the opportunity to see tangible value in their work.
One example is Next Generation Sustainable Living, run by educator Jerry Webb and his students at Central High School in Chattanooga, TN. Using donated or repurposed materials, students build high-quality, solar-powered chicken coops that they sell in their community. As part of the course, students meet with local professionals who showcase how the skills they learn can be applied outside the classroom.
Other businesses include Pittsburgh-based Simple Ricks Woodshop at Plum Senior High School and Golden Oaks Designs, located at Keystone Oaks High School. To view these and other student stores, go to www.edcorps.org.
"Harbor Freight Tools for Schools is excited to partner with Real World Scholars to support teachers and students who work with their heads, hands, and hearts as central to their learning," states Tae Kang of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools. "We believe that the hard work, creativity, and dedication of these students and teachers can be a national model to show the value and connection of entrepreneurship and the trades."
This year, over 10,000 K-12 students are running over 260 Education Corporations in classrooms in 31 states, growing notable communities across the country. Each class is given initial seed funding, e-commerce technology, and personalized support and the students have autonomy over how they run their business and what they do with the profits. "Students often use their profits to support causes they care about," Burden added. "This is particularly exciting for us, as it allows young people to use their learning to benefit their community in very real ways."
Real World Scholars is a San Diego-based nonprofit that works to connect students with the community beyond the classroom. They help students leverage their own curiosity, creativity, and entrepreneurial thinking to solve problems, make connections, and become contributors to their communities – engaging them in work that matters. For more information, please visit www.realworldscholars.org.
Harbor Freight Tools for Schools (HFTFS), a program of the Smidt Foundation, is dedicated to the advancement of skilled trades education in America. With a deep respect for the dignity of these fields and for the intelligence and creativity of people who work with their hands, this program was created to foster and shine a light on excellence in skilled trades education in public high schools. Believing that access to quality skilled trades education gives high school students pathways to graduation, opportunity, good jobs, and a workforce our country needs, HFTFS aims to stimulate greater understanding, support, and investment by public entities and others in skilled trades education. Harbor Freight Tools is a major supporter of the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Program. Learn more at harborfreighttoolsforschools.org
Adam Mathis, Account Manager
Real World Scholars
SOURCE Real World Scholars