startup weekend

Startup Weekend EDU D.C.: Next Gen Schools

Washington, DC - Dec 4 5:30 pm to Dec 6, 2015 7:30 pm

$51 to $250


Do you have ideas about how schools can better serve students? Is the traditional definition of “academic success” too narrow for you? Are you dissatisfied with the state of educational inequity? If so, then I'm writing to invite you to Startup Weekend EDU D.C.: Next Gen Schools. The weekend of December 4, 5, and 6 will be an exciting, fast-paced 54 hours of rethinking K-12 education and designing the schools of the future. The event is presented by Startup Weekend EDU, a 4.0 Schools program, in partnership with CityBridge Foundation. Creative groups of educators, designers, strategists, and other like-minded innovators can join the action to develop next generation school models. 

The event: We bring together a diverse group of people passionate about making a positive impact on education. In 54 hours, participants share ideas, form teams, and then quickly prototype and build new models for schools serving students in the Pre-K–12 age span. Unlike other startup weekends, the result of this weekend won’t be a tech product, but rather a new school model that radically transforms the traditional approach to learning. The event hinges on participants creating a “core innovation” that improves on a central element of schools (e.g. Why should the school day be delineated by a number of fixed periods? Why should there always be one teacher in front of 30 students?). Location, space, time, staff, subjects, modalities are all for grabs! On Friday night, anyone can make a 60-second pitch for their idea for reinventing schools. That night, teams will come together around these ideas—a core innovation to schools—and over the course of the weekend develop a new school model to improve education. On Sunday, the weekend culminates with final presentations and pitches in front of a panel of esteemed judges. The winning team will receive a non-monetary package aimed at helping them take their idea to the next stage of development.

The participants: We’re looking for 125 passionate educators, parents, students, entrepreneurs, developers, and designers who want to make a difference in education NOW. Come join a team committed to rethinking how schools work so we can help all students obtain an excellent education. We welcome educators and collaborators from traditional public schools, charter schools, private schools, and our broader community.

Our facilitator: the three-day event will be facilitated by Caroline Hill, founder of DC Equity Lab and former high school principal at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School. Caroline will MC Friday's pitch night and Sunday's presentations, ensuring we stay on time and have a ton of fun!

The Friday evening pitch: The Friday evening pitches are made by individuals as the seed around which to form a team. We hope that about a third of participants will arrive ready to pitch on Friday evening. We will send more specific instructions for pitching to participants before the event.

The Sunday evening presentations: Each team will have a few short minutes to describe their idea and present their prototype to the judges. Our panel of judges will include: Jennie Niles, D.C.'s Deputy Mayor for Education Abrehem Gebre, 2015 graduate of Columbia Heights Educational Campus and Georgetown class of 2019 

The judging criteria will include: 

1.) Problem identification & the boldness of the core idea that addresses that problem 2.) Articulation of the academic and non-academic program to support the core  3.) Quality of the prototype developed 4.) Commitment to actively addressing issues of inequity in education After the presentations, the judges will huddle to determine the first, second, and third place teams. 

What happens after? There is no commitment past Sunday to continue working on the ideas: it’s immersive, it’s intense, and it’s no strings attached. We believe the seeds of great school ideas and networks of committed educators will coalesce in 54 hours. 

We want to thank our fantastic partner organizations in putting on this event! Columbia Heights Educational Campus (CHEC), CityBridge Foundation, DC Equity Lab, DC Public Schools, NewSchools Venture Fund, and Teach For America