Producing real work for real audiences enables our students to engage in work that matters. When they see a clear purpose for what they're doing, students are far more engaged and motivated to do their work better. Below are some of the projects we will be focusing on this year.

During their final year in the IA, students must use all the skills they've acquired to open up their own business that serves a need in our community and provides value. 

 

This year, the students have decided to open up a smoothie shop called BlendZ.

What's their mission:
"To blend student entrepreneurs who inspire our community to lead playfully healthy lives."

Every month, students publish articles for The Break--the student news section of Peru this Week, which is the leading English newspaper in Lima, Peru.

 

In the process, students learn how to research, how to interview people around Lima, how to tell important stories, how to edit and how to publish.  You can check out all of the articles by clicking here: THE BREAK.

On September 12th, students gave their first presentation of the year. It was a TEDTalk given in our performing arts center that seats more than 400 people. 

 

The theme of their talk answered the question: "WHAT IS MY STORY?" For this unit we looked at the power of storytelling in a variety of media, so their presentation integrated video, images, audio, and text smoothly to deliver a more powerful message to the audience. 

The Class of 2015 cohort began their experience in the I with a focus on filmmaking, and we call our news production "Story Time." For us, news is not about simply recounting an event, it's about finding the beautiful--and sometimes subtle--stories that surround us on a daily basis. 

 

Check out some of our videos: STORY TIME

Our last unit focused on finance, and our driving question was: "Should I invest in this?"

 

​Students were placed on Brokerage teams and had to research the best way to invest $3000 actually US dollars. In the process, they learned about the stock market, why certain companies are valuable, and how to invest in socially responsible ways.

 

The final product was an investment portfolio and presentation, and the four stocks we purchased were Starbucks, Cummins, First Solar, and Cisco. 

On Monday, November 11th, students began their four-week-long internships/independent projects. 

10 students are currently working with companies throughout Lima on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays all day, and two students have designed independent projects. Gisella is growing her cupcake business, and Paolo is writing an ebook about how mining has improved in Lima over the last few decades. 

During the second semester of the Innovation Academy, we focus heavily on government, economics and documentary filmmaking. We watch and critique films like "The Cove" and "The Inside Job" while reading "Naked Economics."

 

Throughout the process, students also explore a topic of their choice, and produce a 10-20 minute documentary. Some of the topics include microcredit lending, the wealth gap in Peru, how innovation is being fostered and stifled, and what informal economics can teach us about how economies grow.