Startup Incubator Curriculum
AEC students in grades sixth through twelve have the unique opportunity to explore and innovate in our state-of-the-art Startup Incubator, a facility that serves as an inventor’s workshop. Here, students create physical and digital products that solve a problem; provide entertainment or aesthetic enjoyment; or convey information. The facility and its resources also serve as an incubator for high-tech entrepreneurial ventures.
All sixth graders and all ninth graders enroll in a required, Startup Incubator course. Students in grades seven and eight, as well as grades ten through twelve, may enroll in elective Startup Incubator courses. Required courses focus on grade-level appropriate skills in coding, making/engineering and digital media. Elective courses afford students a project-based, studio environment, with students identifying and defining projects of their own interests, then working through the Design Cycle with mentors from research and industry to bring their concepts to fruition. Elective courses at the high school level also emphasize Lean Startup practices to assist students in taking developed products and services to market.
Focal content currently addressed in Startup Incubator work consists of: computational thinking and coding; mobile app and game development; 3D design and fabrication; electronics; robotics and drones, including software and hardware development; and digital media design and production, including digital photography, animation, digital video, and digital audio.
Future content will also include IT and cybersecurity; wearable technologies and IoT (the internet of things); big data and computational modeling; augmented and virtual reality; eSports gaming; and biotechnologies.