Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Design Thinking
“Being entrepreneurial isn’t just about starting companies. It is about having a vision and making it a reality. It is a way of thinking that can be learned and practiced.”
Entrepreneurship and innovation in school curricula becomes more and more important each passing day. At Hisar School, our priority is to prepare students for their future business lives and to develop their creative and inspiring thinking and problem solving skills. We aim to help our students graduate as individuals who adopt an innovative, entrepreneurial mindset and address problems from a solution-oriented perspective.
The rapid growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem around the world paves the way for the equally rapid growth in the number of incubation hubs that support entrepreneurs, provide mentoring, and bring together investors and entrepreneurs. Incubation centers play a critical role in protecting the rights of entrepreneurs, filing their patent applications, providing financial support and consultancy, and, undoubtedly, gathering right entrepreneurs with right investors.
It is therefore essential to raise awareness on all these processes; to explain to students, and help them experience, the phases they will need to go through until they realize an idea; since this is what will enable us to bring up students who can adapt themselves to the changing conditions of the world. For this purpose, we create and support those environments where our students can communicate with the business world, universities and incubation centers, develop projects and realize their ideas.
Flexible learning environments provide our students a suitable platform in which they can realize and prototype their project, as well as experience the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The projects realized in this area have been accepted by many important local and international conferences, and our students have the chance to present their projects to universities, investors and prominent representatives of the education and business worlds. While establishing collaborations for innovation, we partner with universities and the business world to help realize these projects and to help our students get patents for these projects to be implemented as startups.
The goal here is to partner with universities, private sector, business world, and the public sector; to conduct field visits and case studies; to develop an Innovation Internship Network with non-governmental organizations as well as with domestic and foreign institutions; and to establish an Innovation Mentors’ Network in collaboration with Hisar alumni. To this end, Hisar Technology and Innovation Advisory Board was established with the participation of experts leading their respective fields.
The following subjects are covered by our curriculum on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Design Thinking, which we support with many projects and content as part of entrepreneurial strategies and innovation processes through computer science courses provided at different levels:
- Innovation Cycle
- Creative Confidence and Inspiring Others
- Entrepreneurial Thinking
- Design Thinking
- Entrepreneur's Vision, Mission and Strategy
Design thinking is one of the subjects covered by the curriculum: It is a problem-solving methodology that involves the steps required to generate solutions to real life problems, to improve existing processes and to be a part of the solution rather than the problem through an innovative approach. This approach, which was developed and used at Stanford University, is implemented in Hisar School using the same perspective and curriculum.
Design Thinking focuses on understanding, interpreting and analyzing the problem before proposing a solution to the problem and covers the following steps:
Step 1: Empathy: I'm facing a challenge, how can I approach this?
Step 2: Interpretation: I learned something, how can I interpret it?
Step 3: Idea Generation: There is an opportunity, what should I derive from it?
Step 4: Prototyping: How can I design a prototype?
Step 5: Testing: Has the solution worked?
Since Computer Sciences is an important subject of our curriculum at all levels, design thinking, innovation and entrepreneurship have been included in it, and the process has been supported by elective courses and projects, contributing to the creation of an ecosystem in the school. In addition, “Senior Projects: Design Thinking and Entrepreneurship” has been presented as an elective course for the first time in this academic year.
Please click here to learn more about the topics we address under “Vision, Mission and Strategy of the Entrepreneur”.
In addition to the aforementioned curriculum and courses, we take part in events and projects to support students in the aforementioned areas, which help contribute significantly to the development of our students.
We focus on programming, product development, entrepreneurship and leadership efforts under the Technovation Challenge, which we have been attending since 2013. Under this project, a large number of students from secondary and high school develop a mobile application examining a global problem and make a comprehensive business plan to implement the application.
Another event we take part in is FRC: First Robotics Competition, where our high-school robotics team works in cooperation before the competition to design a robot that is able to perform the assigned tasks successfully, thus acquiring great amount of knowledge, skills and experience in mechanics, electronics and programming. The business - entrepreneurship group, which is an important part of the team, works on the visual and corporate identity of the team, social media communication, sponsorship and funding. Thanks to these efforts, students develop superior and entrepreneurial skills to express themselves and their ideas, make presentations, find funding and create a brand.
Hackathon is another event that we place emphasis on. We encourage our students to attend the Hackathons as they enable our students to gain experience in practicing their skills in entrepreneurship and application development in the digital world, and they offer an invaluable experience in many subjects related to university life and business world.