University of Delaware Horn Entrepreneurship alum Zack Jones, class of 2017, has officially taken on the role of interim director for Dual School. Dual School is a student idea incubator that runs a free, 10-week program for local high school students to practice putting their ideas into action. Students go to downtown Wilmington’s co-working space, 1313 Innovation, and take advantage of mentorship, resources and connections to a wide array of networks.The pilot program just began its first 10-week session with strong interest from local area high school students. Jones hopes to engage the students through a combination of hands on learning and active progress that encourages further problem exploration and discovery.
“Dual School currently engages 16 students and 16 mentors,” said Jones. “We have a great support team behind the scenes with Meghan Wallace of Social Contract, Cat Lindroth of the Summer Learning Collaborative, Julie Frieswyk, the Youth Programs Lead at Horn Entrepreneurship, John Himics of First Ascent Design, and a collaborative of teachers, students and entrepreneurs who are in charge of shaping the vision of the program. Students apply with ideas or problems they want to solve and we give them the resources to make progress.”
“Every Tuesday the students come to 1313 Innovation and we facilitate a workshop based on the student's needs that week, then we give them time to collaborate with mentors and take action on their projects,” began Jones. “John Himics teaches the students about coding and marketing to give them a high level understanding of some of the technical pieces of entrepreneurship. The goal is to give the students the ability to effectively brand, identify and communicate a project while also learning how to work with and communicate with developers to make technical projects happen.”
Dual School is collaborating with High Tech High, two thought leaders in student empowerment and engagement, to refine the experience and provide real value to participants.
“High Tech High actually flew out to run an excursion with us!” said an ecstatic Jones. “They brought microphones, drones, laptops and cameras and tasked students with creating a one to two minute video that answered a question. It was amazing to see how High Tech High do learning and we decided to bring them back two more times to run Saturday sessions.” Jones continued, “The fall pilot is a chance for us to constantly evaluate our own ideas improve through each iteration.”
The focus on progress extends to the student participants and Jones has already run a session to ingrain the importance of progress
“We want students to take their first steps through working through their projects and present their work.” said Jones. “One student is working on a big engineering project, developing a rotorless drone, while another is trying to encourage conversations about social justice within their school. The deliverables for both are wildly different so we really just want students to make progress and be able to share it with family, friends, and peers. Our first session focused on the importance of progress through prototyping. We started by expanding the definition of prototyping and it encouraged students to take active steps that day that produced immediate results.”
There will be a Dual School Exhibition on January 30 featuring the student projects from the fall cohort.
Dual School is a collaborative project between 1313 Innovation, Horn Entrepreneurship and the Paul and Linda McConnell Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative.
Zack Jones, Entrepreneurship & Technology Innovation, Class of 2017, is the author of The World Changer’s Handbook. Zack also started the Ignite! early move in program at Horn Entrepreneurship and has helped grow the 20k Passions initiative for university campuses across the country.
About Horn Entrepreneurship
Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the University of Delaware’s creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement. Built and actively supported by successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders, Horn Entrepreneurship empowers aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs as they pursue new ideas for a better world.