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Scotch Enterprise Project

Given the increasing importance of the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in the solution of real-world problems, schools around the world are looking for innovative ways to increase students’ capacity in the key 21st century skills of designing, creating, collaborating, cross-disciplinary thinking, enterprise and problem solving.
With this background, Scotch College runs the ‘Scotch Enterprise Project’ (SEP) as a one-semester elective in Year 10. The SEP is offered only to a select group of boys.
Boys who elect to take the SEP are asked to identify a real world problem and develop, working in groups of two or three, a solution in the form of a tangible product. The product could take the form of a:

•     physical device, mechanism, scale model or prototype;

•     software code or app;

•     high level design brief; or,

•     some other appropriate form.

Boys taking the SEP are assigned to a mentor teacher. The mentor’s primary role is as a point of contact for boys, supervisor of practical activities, and ‘critical friend’. He/she does not ‘teach’ the SEP, but, instead, is be charged with the responsibility of keeping projects moving forward through a Socratic questioning technique, which ensures that responsibility for progress and outcomes remains with each group.
Once problems have been identified and construction of solutions has commenced, groups are allowed access to relevant facilities across the School (e.g. ICT labs, Science facilities, Design Technology workshops, Art studios). The mentor teacher retains responsibility for oversight and supervision of boys and projects throughout the SEP.
Assessment for the SEP is based on the quality of ongoing portfolio development and the quality of the final product for each group. To encourage rigour in the process and products, external experts in relevant fields are engaged to assist in the process of assessment, with boys required to present their solutions to a panel containing an appropriate external expert, and some teachers, at the end of semester.