Engineering, tech clubs utilize eCommerce websites for student-run businesses
PANDORA – A newly formed engineering club called PG Engineering Design at Pandora-Gilboa High School caught the attention of a San Diego-based company that is dedicated to engaging students in real world project-based learning by bringing their work from the showcase to the marketplace.
Now, the two have formed a partnership that includes an eCommerce website where students can learn the highs and lows of business and gain an understanding of what its like to be an entrepreneur.
Students at Pandora-Gilboa High School formed the engineering club last school year. Under the supervision of Jessica Klass, the goal of PG Engineering Design (PGED) is to allow dedicated students to serve the community through design and innovation. Many of the foundational ideas that comprise PGED were modeled after PG’s tech club Rockettech. Rockettech, which is run by Mark Suter and his students, resembles a small business by offering web design and video productions to local businesses.
PGED’s first major project involved selling sets of custom engraved wooden drink coasters. In less than one month, PG Engineering sold 223 sets of coasters. As of today, PGED has sold 592 sets of coasters.
Both Rockettech and PGED have been using entrepreneurial strategies to provide students with real-world opportunities and project based learning.
Recently, the success of both clubs caught the attention of a San Diego based company called Real World Scholars. The purpose of RWS is to implement entrepreneurial practices into the high school classroom. They provide teachers and students with an eCommerce website, business mentors, as well as a startup donation.
John Cahalin, the founder of RWS, reached out to Mark Suter earlier this summer after seeing the innovative ideas of Rockettech. Suter then informed Cahalin of the work provided by PGED. As some of the only teachers running businesses out of their classrooms, the two clubs quickly became some of the top featured programs affiliated with RWS.
With the aid of RWS, both Rockettech and PGED now have fully functioning eCommerce websites. Suter, Klass, and their students are experiencing real world successes, failures, and how to learn from these ups and downs of a business. The futures of these clubs are bright. The students continue to provide real world products and services to local community members and businesses. We encourage you to visit their websites and contact Mark Suter or Jessica Klass with any questions or potential business opportunities.