One of the trends in education today is Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM)
education. STEAM is proving successful in schools all around the world to better teach academic and life skills in a standards-backed, realistic-based, personally relevant exploratory learning environment.
The Innovation Hub, which opened in the fall of 2014 at the USC High School, is an inclusive facility comprised of specialized equipment and software that students will use to engage in problem-based learning and hands-on fabrication, bridging between the concepts taught in traditional classrooms and the real-world applications. The Innovation Hub is pivotal to the success of two exciting, new initiatives: 1) the establishment of a globally-connected Fab Lab, the first MIT Fab Lab in Pennsylvania; and 2) the creation of SHOP@USC.
SHOP@USC (Showing How Opportunity Pays @ USC) — a pioneering, new student-run business which is housed within the InnovationHub, is an entirely revolutionary way of delivering educational programming that will enable students with special needs to design and manufacture products while learning how to develop a business plan that includes all aspects such as pricing, marketing, sales, and inventory of products.
The idea and realization of SHOP@USC demonstrates the power of partnerships. The District Advancement Office has worked to secure private donations for SHOP@USC production equipment. Expertise in the use of the equipment is provided by the professional staff assigned to the Innovation Hub and Special Education Program, many of whom contribute personal hours to the endeavor. Student volunteers, members of FRIENDS (Finding Relationships In Every New Direction), are eager to assist in the planning and execution of production items, as personal outreach and as a hands-on learning opportunity. Local entrepreneurs have volunteered time to assist in the development and implementation of a workable business plan.
The students working in SHOP@USC will be able to produce a variety of items, which will be introduced for school-wide sale as the individual item produced is mastered and determined to be high quality merchandise. The goal of SHOP@USC is to have a self-sustaining USC Spirit Shop storefront and/or kiosk in the High School that sells USC products and an on-line USC Spirit Store.
Click here to view/download the SHOP@USC pamphlet with more details about our partnerships and our program.