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For Parents

 
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Big Idea Project provides an opportunity for your child to become their best self.

Navigating school and preparing for the future has never been more complex, stressful or competitive, for both parents and students. Through a focus on whole-child development that includes workforce readiness skills, social emotional growth and well-being, Big Idea Project (BIP) helps high school students become Generous Leaders® who have the mindset, confidence, skills and experience to be their best in life and work both in and after high school.

 

In their words

We call this ‘entrepreneurial confidence.’ When students see that they can do something about challenging social problems, they carry that confidence with them throughout their life. Big problems are not insurmountable. Big problems just need a creative idea and the will to make a difference.

 
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Prepare your student to achieve their dreams

As a parent, you want your student to learn values, grow in character and acquire relevant skills that will unleash their potential to live their best life. Often school today focuses only on academic knowledge at the expense of providing formative experiences that shape how a student applies their knowledge to real life. Big Idea Project is the missing piece that can help your student.

Through Big Idea Project your student will have the chance to own their learning, practice leadership and responsibility, put creative problem solving into action and learn resilience by failing forward. Many students say Big Idea Project is the most challenging project they’ve ever done in school, and by far the most impactful. It changes them for the better.

Big Idea Project prepares your student for the future because they complete a class with a high-value, real world portfolio that displays their skills to employers and colleges.

 

How the project works

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A Big Idea

Teams of 3-4 identify a social problem they care about and come up with a way to help solve it

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Business Mentor

Together with a business mentor, teams create a plan for taking action

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Action

Students have the semester to work their plan and make their Big Idea come to life

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Presentation

At the end of the semester, teams create a storytelling video and present their results

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Real World Relevance

You will create a real world portfolio to use with future employers and schools. One team will be selected to present at BIP State (where they will receive a scholarship).

 

Your student will learn:

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Job relevant skills

Leadership as well as hard-to-find soft skills like problem-solving, responsibility, teamwork, creativity, project planning, initiative, public speaking and much more.

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Generous Leadership®

True leadership is more than a set of skills. Students engage in an experience that creates mind shifts around personal worth and purpose, selfless service and perseverance.

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Resiliency

Big Idea Project is challenging. Failure and road blocks build character, give students the chance to choose their attitude and action, own their vision and fight for what they believe in. Often, the most challenging tasks become the most rewarding accomplishments.

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Results for real life

Big Idea Project requires that students implement ideas and get results. Their results (chronicled in a storytelling video and professional portfolio) are the proof colleges and future employers are specifically looking for. Long-term projects are seen as far more valuable than volunteer hours.

 
 

Key Program Outcomes

89 %

According to a pre and post survey that measures student skill development, 89% of students showed growth in one or more of the eight main leadership and workforce readiness measures.

94 %

More than 94% of educators agreed or strongly agreed that the Big Idea Project helped their students acquire valuable workforce and professional skills.

75 %

BIP is fulfilling its mission to unleash the potential of students. 75% of students agreed that BIP gave them the skills to help them unlock more of their potential.

83 %

More than 8 out of 10 students grew in empathy, a foundational skill for leadership and life. 83% of students agreed that as a result of participating it is easier to put themselves in others’ shoes.

81 %

BIP strengthens student well-being by reducing feelings of isolation. 81% of students said from their experience they learned that other students and their teacher support them and their goals. Nearly 90% of teachers agreed that the program improved their students’ overall well-being.

Source: Big Idea Project 2019 Impact Report

 

“I witnessed an incredibly shy girl transform into a confident leader of her group who discovered her love for public speaking and working with other people (even though it scared her). Now, she is going to be pursuing education to try to replicate that same effect for other students.”

– Teacher
 

Participating Schools

 

Don’t see your school and want Big Idea Project for your child?

Great! Please tell your principal that you want your child to participate in the Big Idea Project (BIP) Program. Administrators must contact BIP to participate and can reach us here:

info@bigideaproject.org

 

FAQs for parents

How can my student participate in Big Idea Project?

The Big Idea Project works with districts and schools to implement the program in the best context for each school. If your school does not offer the Big Idea Project, talk to your principal, district or email a school board member.

My student is doing Big Idea Project. What are we in for?

If your school chooses to offer the Big Idea Project, your student is fortunate to have an opportunity others wish they had.

The Big Idea Project is a service learning program that provides the context, curriculum and real world experience students need to develop workforce ready skills, social emotional competency and leadership experience. Big Idea Project’s program is values-based and focuses on developing the ‘whole child’ by caring for their wellbeing, encouraging their passions and giving students the chance to drive their own learning.

Projects are completely student-led. Teachers provide lessons and coaching that teams need. The project may seem daunting at first, but students rise to the challenge and point back to their work as the pinnacle moment of their high school experience.

The time commitment varies by students and teams. Teachers give students many opportunities to work on their projects in class.

What is the student participation agreement I am asked to sign?

Every student who wishes to participate must have their parent or guardian sign the Parent Agreement Form. This agreement allows your student to be coached by a business mentor and to include your student in photos and video presentation events.

We ask parents to also opt-in their student’s personal contact information so that, through our vast professional network, we can offer students additional opportunities after the project such as on-going professional training, professional seminars, scholarships opportunities, networking with business leaders and opportunities for college and job readiness.

Does Big Idea Project provide scholarships?

Big Idea Project provides scholarships for students of the winning team from each school. Graduates have 18 months after graduation to claim their scholarship by completing the BIP scholarship request form. BIP will send the award check directly to the accredited college/university or trade school.

How much does it cost to participate?

Big Idea Project is a non-profit organization that relies on districts, schools and community partners to cover the cost of the entire program. There are no direct costs to students to participate in Big Idea Project. (Note: each school may impose a local materials fee.)

What happens after the project is over?

All Big Idea Project students are considered BIP alumni. If we have your student’s contact information, they will receive access to ongoing professional experiences, skills training, networking, collaboration with other alumni, events, service opportunities and much more.