Across the U.S., a growing movement is teaching kids to become entrepreneurs–or at least how to think like entrepreneurs. While some of these programs are extracurricular ways for enterprising kids to explore business, others are actually shaping students’ core school lessons around entrepreneurship. The big idea underpinning all of them: Work has changed, and no matter what career kids ultimately pursue, they’re going to have to constantly adapt and innovate in order to succeed–just like entrepreneurs do. So why not educate them that way? Here’s a look at nine different approaches from around the country.
Blue Valley CAPS
“The first time I walked into CAPS, I felt like I had walked into the Stanford d.school,” says Victor Hwang, the vice president of entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. CAPS is a program that started in suburban Kansas City, Missouri and has now spread to two dozen school districts around the country, mostly in the Midwest. CAPS programs (the acronym stands for Center for Advanced Professional Studies) partner with businesses and community organizations to give students hands-on experience tackling professional projects in high-demand industries such as biotech, digital media, and engineering. “Instructors create an environment where creative thinking and problem solving is encouraged,” according to the CAPS guiding principles. “An innovative culture is key to fostering entrepreneurial learning and design thinking.”