Download all curriculum content from the Take Action page

Over 200 teachers in 15 rural Kentucky counties have attended a one-day training to teach the E-Discovery curriculum in the classroom thanks to grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).  Teachers have been given the tools to incorporate entrepreneurial instruction in elementary and middle school classrooms since 2008 through this initiative.

At the end of the nine sessions of E-Discovery, students set up their businesses at a school or community event and sell their products or services.  E-Discovery is unique because students work in teams to create business ventures; the process is very empowering.

E-Discovery curriculum provides a direct tie with most disciplines.  Teachers have embraced this concept because they feel E-Discovery curriculum and developing businesses shows students real-life applications of classroom instruction.

E-Discovery Challenge has been a great experience for my students. The first year is always the hardest. There have been lots of learning experiences. However, each experience will help us to be more successful as the program continues in the future. My students have all be excited to complete the program. The final products were wonderful and helped the students to learn some valuable lessons.

Students learn a lot of other valuable lessons that they expressed when presenting their final group presentations including:

  • Groups were dissolved after some really hard work because they simply could not get along.
  • Other fees are included in starting a business. These costs come out of your bottom line profits.
  • It takes hard work to get even the simplest business started.
  • Starting a business and making a product takes TIME!
In the business reflections and final group presentations students seemed to mostly grasp the idea of “demand”. Students that sold snow cones on hot sunny days were the most successful. Snow cones were something they could offer at breaks and after-school events that no one else was selling and there was a demand from both adults and children for a cool refreshment. The group that was the least successful and did not get a return on their investment was decorative socks. The really looked great but what it all came down to was demand, and there wasn’t much for splatter socks.
The biggest lesson that I have learned from this program that I will change next year is the timing. Snow days, flood days, and testing really put some constraints on us. Our program was set to begin in March. Because of snow we were not able to begin until April. Because of testing and the final day of school being moved up we had to move our sales event up and sell at school instead of the Memorial Days Festival. The event itself was successful. However, had it been during a festival we would have had more traffic and the student would have made more profits. Next year we are planning on starting first semester. This will give us time to create and sell products and a school event that has students, parents and the general public. We are already in discussion of some dates!
Another great think I have learned about this project is what a GREAT community we have. I have businesses offering to donate items for the sales, parents offering to pay for the start up costs so that their child’s group can be even more successful. What a great community that we live in where businesses and parents are willing to support their future leaders in any way that they can.