The co-founder of the STARTedUP Foundation says closed schools and social distancing as a result of the coronavirus is an opportunity to expose homebound students to innovation and entrepreneurship for a cause.

Don Wettrick says when the COVID-19 outbreak caused school cancellations and a shift to e-learning, he had teachers reaching out to him for curriculum on innovation.

“A lot of teachers don’t necessarily have time to teach innovation curriculum. But all of a sudden, teachers now had some extra time,” explained Wettrick.

The foundation has launched an online curriculum that encourages students to find a cause in their communities and collaborate online through a closed group LinkedIn page.

“What a great opportunity to get students thinking about seeing local/regional/national problems as opportunities and actually knowing how to do something about them and collaborate with other passionate students,” said Wettrick.

Because the focus is on the mindset of seeing problems as opportunities, Wettrick says he will ask the students to identify problems and nonprofits in their area to work with, then share the results.

The video series and resources are now online, available to educators for free who register for the program.

Wettrick says the 10-course programs include guest appearances from A-list authors, thought leaders and entrepreneurs, including the founder and chief executive officer of Uber Elevate.

Click here to learn more about the program.

STARTedUP also hosts hackathons, innovation nights and pitch competitions. 

Wettrick told Inside INdiana Business the program is chance to expand innovative thinking at a young age.