Lights, Camera, Entrepreneurship Education!

By Andrea DeGette, high school videography teacher in Hillsborough, NC, and Jenny Burns, Community Coordinator for Allen Distinguished Educators
August 5, 2016

Award-winning project replicated with DIY Guide grant from Allen Distinguished Educators 


DIY Guide grants ensure adoption of ADE-created classroom projects and practices across a diverse range of schools – engaging student of all backgrounds.

“Many group projects I’ve taught in the past drag on and waste precious class time. The 52 Minute Challenge was great because it was easy to implement and was appealing to my students,” explained Andrea DeGette, a videography high school teacher and DIY Guide grantee from Allen Distinguished Educators. “I will definitely use this project again because it fills a gap in my curriculum for a group project and it is quick and effective.” DeGette is one of 28 teachers to receive a DIY Guide grant from the ADE programin winter of 2016

In this project, students get one class period (52 minutes) to find a real problem on campus, document it, develop a solution and prepare a presentation. The main goal of this engineering and entrepreneurship project, developed by 2014 ADE awardee Glenn Corey, is to highlight the importance of collaboration when working under a tight deadline. Download open-source materials for this project.

Andrea-DeGette-Vimeo-Screenshot.JPG“I think [this project] works very well for students,” said DeGette. “It’s exciting for them because, not only are they bringing up a challenge or an issue in the school, they are coming up with the solution.”

Teachers are encouraged to creatively adjust the projects to suit the unique needs of their students and classroom environments. 

Watch this video showcasing the project success, adaptations, and lessons learned produced by DeGette and her videography students.

Learn how Andrea modified and adapted this project:

How Glenn Does It

  • School: Novato High School
  • Type of School: Public - District 
  • Location: Novato, CA
  • School Population: 1358 
  • Demographic: 43% minority students 
  • % Free/reduced lunch program: 34%
  • Grade: 11th & 12th
  • Timing: Two days (52 Minute Periods)
  • Subjects: Business concepts, engineering and design, and real-world learning
  • Materials: Roger Von Oech's Creative Whack Pack, computers, smart phones or cameras, sketch pads and pens, and sticky notes
  • Project Steps: Project is completed in two class periods (each 52 minutes long) following creative brainstorm exercises 

Watch Glenn's interactive guided tour and download his complete project materials.

How Andrea Did It

  • School: Cedar Ridge High School (9-12)
  • Type of School: Public - District
  • Location: Hillsborough, NC
  • School Population: 1,127
  • Demographic: 32% minority students
  • % Free/reduced lunch program: 31%
  • Grade: 9th - 12th
  • Timing: One day (with time extensions for highly engaged students)
  • Subjects: Social studies, videography, business concepts
  • Materials: Video cameras, video editing software, sound recording equipment, paper and pencils
  • Project Steps: Students get one class period to find a problem on campus, document the problem on video, develop a solution, record the solution on video, then one class period to edit and produce a short video documentary

More details will be available soon.

Featured project adaptations by DeGette:
  • DeGette sprung this project on her students, rather than give them preparation, simulating a common real-world scenario. “Students were also able to assess each other’s' ability to work and think on the fly,” said DeGette.
  • Students from a different class developed a list of problems at the school for DeGette’s class to address, for additional brainstorming support. “I used a list of issues that some of my video club members came up with in case the students got "stuck" for an idea,” said DeGette.
  • Rather than preparing presentations, students produced videos featuring problems and their proposed solutions because DeGette teaches videography and this adaptation allowed the 52 Minute Challenge project to fit in better with her curriculum.

Student work from Glenn's class

Students prepared presentations in small groups to address solutions to a problem or issue at their school. Visit the 52 Minute Challenge page to learn more.

Student Work from Andrea's class

Students produced videos identifying problems or challenges on their campus as well as their proposed solutions. Watch this video produced by DeGette's class to learn more.

The ADE program was developed by Paul G. Allen based on his belief that innovation is a key driver in improving learning opportunities for young people. “Innovation is the cornerstone of progress in education,” said DeGette. “Without innovation, education becomes irrelevant.” 

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