Recently I, Crystal Burk, Regional Manager in Texas, participated in a community outreach event with a local charter school to sponsor an essay contest. The essay contest was a joint effort with the Lockheed Martin Leadership Association. The students at East Fort Worth Montessori Academy, a private elementary school serving disadvantaged students in eastern Fort Worth, were asked to write an essay explaining who their favorite American entrepreneur was and why.
The intent of the article was to get the children interested an entrepreneurial career or a career in the STEM fields. Most of the people selected were inventors or engineers, however others chose celebrities who have launched product lines. In either case, it was a glimpse into the mind of elementary students and the kind of people they admire.
The fourth and fifth grade students wrote about entrepreneurs ranging from Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to Beyoncé. The essays were graded by originality and adherence to a specific set of guidelines. Some were handwritten and others were nicely typed up. More than 30 essays were submitted for review, and the top three winning essays were awarded a cash prize ranging from $125 to $50 as well as certificates and logo items from both DCR Workforce and Lockheed Martin F-35 Stickers.
Montessori schools differ from traditional public schools in that the curriculum is tailored to the needs of the individual students. Students learn at more of an independent pace, dictated by their own learning styles instead of that of a traditional curriculum where all the students move together with primarily one learning style.
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