For their Marketing final, students at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School (PWHS) demonstrated what they learned through a month-long project promoting a cause or creating a marketing plan for a potential new business.
"I think the real world connection really helps," said PWHS senior Michael Wickert who developed a marketing plan for a new tattoo and piercing studio. "Classes like this and Personal Finance really help students know what's going to happen after high school and how you have to handle it."
Using what they learn to help others
Several students took on the idea of promoting a cause. Teams of students created promotions to raise money to help fight cancer, encouraged elementary students to be physically active, supported service dogs, recruited new members for clubs at the PWHS and found other ways to give back to the community.
Brooke Dunoff, a sophomore, created an initiative called "Helping Hands." She reached out to donors and businesses for toiletries, new socks and other items and then created care packages that she distributed to the homeless in Philadelphia.
"I knew that, either way, I was going to do a lot of work, and I thought that if I'm going to do the work for it, I might as well make it real...and make a difference, even if it's just for a couple people," said Brooke.
Real world connections mean students see results of their work
For their "Go Out and Get Active" event, one team hosted a couple dozen kindergarten through fifth grade students for two hours of activities that encouraged a healthy lifestyle. They created posters and other promotional materials for the free event, developed a social media campaign, worked with the elementary schools, secured equipment and organized their peers to volunteer to help. It rained on the day of the event, and the students had to implement a backup plan in the PWHS gymnasium that they had reserved in case of bad weather.
"It helped us get over procrastination," said PWHS freshman Max Wittenberg. "We had a deadline, and it's not like we'd get points taken off because the work is late. We had a certain date, and we had to make sure got what we needed on time."
Kevin Tilghman, a junior at PWHS, is enjoying the fruit of his efforts as a counselor at the PWHS Boys Basketball camp that he promoted through the class.
"My favorite thing about the project is that I picked it out," said Kevin. "My favorite thing about the camp is that you meet a whole lot of kids, and it's fun."
Part of Colonial's STEAM culture
The Marketing project is an example of "project-based learning" (PBL), which is one way STEAM can be found in classes outside of traditional STEAM courses that include Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Through PBL, students gain a deeper understanding of the material by using the new skills and concepts in the context of a real-world application. PBL also occurs over time, which allows students to better digest the material and develop perseverance by working through mistakes and learning to redirect their efforts when something doesn't go as planned.
This year, the Marketing course was taught by Beth Rickard. The class is one of the many electives offered through the Entrepreneurship, Design and innovation (EDI) department at PWHS.
For more information on STEAM in the Colonial School District, click here to visit the STEAM page.