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UI helps high school teachers grow young Iowa entrepreneurs

The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) at the University of Iowa is working with Iowa high school teachers to incorporate entrepreneurial education into their classrooms.

Through the Iowa High School Teacher Training and Youth Entrepreneurship Program, JPEC and the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) have partnered to provide a comprehensive entrepreneurship curriculum that includes BizTech, an online learning program.

According to JPEC's Youth Entrepreneurship Coordinator Dawn Bowlus, BizTech provides a hands-on learning opportunity. "Many Iowa teachers have been teaching entrepreneurial courses and concepts for years. The BizTech web-based program empowers teachers from various disciplines to teach entrepreneurship. Through this technology, students learn about entrepreneurship while applying math, reading and writing skills in the development of a business plan. Ultimately, students learn skills relevant for a lifetime."

Over the next three years, the JPEC hopes to enroll a total of 150 teachers and impact 2,000 students across Iowa. To date, 49 Iowa teachers and more than 400 students are participating in the program. "The UI program is open to all Iowa High School teachers interested in, or currently teaching entrepreneurship. This program is being taught in various classes including careers; foods; retail sales; business; marketing; economics as well as entrepreneurship. One of the best things about this program is its adaptability," says Bowlus.

Teachers who participate in the two-day entrepreneurship training leave with strategies and methods for integrating entrepreneurship and BizTech into their classrooms. In addition, teachers receive a BizBag loaded with curriculum materials including textbooks, lesson plans, quizzes, and transparencies. Their classrooms receive teacher and student access to the password-protected BizTech site, as well as supplemental resource materials. JPEC is currently developing the Iowa Youth Entrepreneurship website that features bulletin boards, chat rooms, success stories and teacher-developed resources.

Cheryl Beaver, who teaches family and consumer science at Clarinda High School has found the BizTech materials and training to be very useful in her careers class. "BizTech is so wonderful because it reinforces the textbook learning about entrepreneurship. It helps to build skills for our students in creativity, critical thinking, higher order thinking, and problem solving."

In addition to gaining access to the BizTech on-line curriculum, Iowa students will have the opportunity to learn entrepreneurship skills through a student-focused portion of the website. In addition to creating business plans online, students will be able to communicate with other students statewide, find resources for conducting market research, and read success stories of Iowa entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Craig Douma, a teacher at South O'Brien High School in Paullina, finds the program to be useful in his retail sales classes.

"The BizTech program was an excellent program to teach and challenge my students to better understand what it means to own a business," he said. "It allowed them to use their creativity in creating a business that they might want to pursue in the future. It taught them that it is a complicated process, something that is not done overnight."

This summer, students from around the state can participate in the Youth BizCamp at UI.

For more information, contact Bowlus at (319) 335-0985 or email dawn-bowlus@uiowa.edu.

Teachers trained in August were:

COUNCIL BLUFFS: Julie O'Doherty, Thomas Jefferson High School.

Cresco: Judy Strike, Crestwood High School.

Delhi: Vicki Spellerberg, Maquoketa Valley CSD,

Des Moines: Jennifer Foster, North High School; Brad Buchan, Urbandale High School.

Elkader: Liz Hobert, Keystone Area Education Agency 1.

Fort Dodge: Pam Uhlenkamp, Fort Dodge Senior High School.

Hampton: Rick Janssen, Hampton-Dumont High School

Keokuk: Carolyn Harryman, Keokuk CSD

Madrid: Tim Connolly, Woodward-Granger Community School District.

Marion: Lora Lemkuhl, Linn Mar High School.

Monona: Becky Holt, MFL MarMac.

Monroe: Eileen Mercuris, PCM High School.

Paullina: Craig Douma, South O'Brien High School

Postville: Brad Bucknell, Postville Community School District.

Reinbeck: Dale Wambold, Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School.

Rockwell: Nancy Sheriff, Rockwell-Swaledale Community School District.

SheffielD: Randy Bohman, Sheffield-Chapin/Meservey-Thornton High School.

Spirit Lake: Barbara Erlandson, Spirit Lake Community Schools.

Tama: Kathy Cox, South Tama County High School.

Van Horne: Bonnie Rohlena, Benton Community School District.

Waukon: Steve Kerchner, Waukon Senior High School.

Teachers who completed the training in November were:

ALGONA: Lynn MacVey, Algona High School.

AMERS: Rhonda Schmaltz, Ames High School.

BUFFALO CENTER: Carole Kettwick, North Iowa High School.

CARROLL: Linda Mack, Carroll High School; Jo Littleton, Kuemper High School.

CEDAR RAPIDS: Donna Young, Kennedy High School; Cherylann Stewart, Kirkwood Community College.

CHARLES CITY: Todd Forsyth, Charles City High School.

CORRECTIONVILLE: Robert Hantsbarger, River Valley Community School.

EDDYVILLE: Ronald Richards, Indian Hills Community College

ELKADER: Barb Duwe and Ken Goings, Central High School.

EMMETSBURG: Jay Jurrens, Emmetsburg High School.

HARTLEY: Katy Evenson, Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn CSD

IDA GROVE: Kate Kramer, Battle Creek-Ida Grove High School.

LAKE PARK: Karla Kyle, Harris Lake Park High School.

LANSING: Ed Ahouse, Kee High School; Bonnie McHugh, Kee High School.

LONE TREE: David Langley, Lone Tree High School.

MAYNARD: Robin Fliehler, West Central High School; Dee Krum, West Central High School.

SHELDON: Matt Meendering, Sheldon High School.

STATE CENTER: Lynn Mitchell, West Marshall High School.

SUMNER: May Schmitt, Sumner Junior/Senior High School.


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