Schools, city announce entrepreneurial ‘Innovation Center’

Noblesville Schools and the City of Noblesville announced today a vision for a student-led Noblesville Innovation Center that would serve as a hub for entrepreneurial activity, business problem solving and next-level skills development.

The announcement was made as part of an Innovation Summit, held Jan. 26 and hosted by the city and school district, highlighting the cutting-edge education model practiced in Noblesville High School’s Innovations class.

Area business and community leaders, as well as national innovation thought-leaders, attended the summit to discuss the transformation of the educational experience, and how an Innovation Center will benefit economic development and learning in Noblesville.

Noblesville teacher, innovation author and 2015 Indiana Innovation Award winner Don Wettrick spoke to the crowd with his vision to grow innovation in Noblesville.

“We are doing education differently, and we are doing it in Noblesville,” he said. “Students are now living in an environment where knowledge is free. We must not simply pass on knowledge to our students, but prepare them to produce something with their knowledge base. It’s no longer an issue of how much they know, but rather what our students can do with what they know.”

Several of Wettrick’s students were also showcased at the event and spoke about their specific innovation endeavors ranging from patented solar panel technology, to app development, to environmental policy change.

“Innovation is the key to equipping today’s students for tomorrow’s workforce and for building our knowledge economy from the ground up,” Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear said. “We’re excited to be leading in this area and at the prospect of facilitating partnerships between local businesses and Noblesville Schools’ bright student problem-solvers who can learn from each other.”

The initial phase of the collaborative Innovation Center will be housed in Noblesville City Hall, but the city and school district hope to grow the center through private funding.

“This concept is a win-win for students and the business community,” Ditslear said.

For more regarding Noblesville High School’s Innovations class, visit vimeo.com/152626750.

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