8 April, 2022


Inspiring students to drive innovation through UTAS partnership

“Entrepreneurship is the engine fuelling innovation, employment generation and economic growth…the power that education has in developing the skills that generate an entrepreneurial mindset and in preparing future leaders for solving more complex, interlinked and fast-changing problems” (OECD, Entrepreneurial Education in Practice, 2015)

Facilitating entrepreneurial mindsets at the College is valued and traditionally this has been achieved through business and enterprise opportunities within the curriculum, particularly within the Humanities and Creative Design Industries Departments. Other department areas, plus elective offerings for Years 8-10, have also supplemented skills around business modelling, finance and problem-solving. The Year 10 STEAM+ program also connects to these entrepreneurial ideas.

However, this year, for the first time, the University of Tasmania (UTAS) and Scotch Oakburn College have partnered to offer an Intensive Social Innovation and Enterprise workshop program for students. This workshop has been designed to foster entrepreneurial mindsets through education and, specifically, through experimental, project-based learning. In this way learning will be contextualised and students will be led through relevant problem-solving skills. Key topics of the workshop include:
• Entrepreneurial mindset
• Design thinking
• Learn startup methodology
• Business models
• Pitching

The overarching theme will be Social Innovation: Public and Social Good and students will work with relevant sector stakeholders to help them frame their ideas. The work will be led and facilitated by Mr James Riggall, Senior Industry Fellow at the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, UTAS.

One core process at the heart of this workshop is the process of Design-Thinking which assists students in finding a framework for devising solutions to problems. Students will work through Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test phases to ultimately plan and refine their solution to a particular challenge associated to the overarching theme.

This workshop, taking place during the July school holidays, will see students based on-site at the College but will engage with guest speakers and off-site visits to relevant locations, including UTAS and business partners.

For this first year the workshop will be offered to students in Years 9 and 10, although future workshops may be delivered to a broader range of year groups in the Middle and Senior Schools. From 2023 there will also be more targeted opportunities for students to explore design-thinking skills through their elective choices, as well as work to embed these in core curriculum offerings where relevant.

The UTAS University Connections Program Entrepreneurship course for TCE students will also be available for our students for 2023 (demand dependant).

Expressions of interest for the Entrepreneurship workshop will be sought from students early in Term 2 with more details available to students and parents at that time.

Sarah Lillywhite
Director of Curriculum Years 6-12