Sometimes classrooms find us and they’re already structuring some element of their curriculum around product or project based learning. They just want to give those projects an opportunity to shine in the real world. Watching students transform a classroom project into a functioning business is seriously awe-inspiring, and PGE Design in Pandora, OH has done a fantastic job with that transformation.
PG Engineering became an EdCorp in 2015 as an after-school club at Pandora-Gilboa High School. Led by educator, Jesse Klass, the club is driven by students interested in engineering and creating products like (super classy) customized coasters for local businesses and community members pictured above. PGE Design is run by 9th-12th grade students with a core group seniors leading the charge. The club actually started as a fundraiser, but was so successful, they decided to turn it into a year long project instead. Student Jesse told us, ͞When our business first started we didn’t even think of ourselves as a business. We were a club at our school. As our demands increased and we started to earn some real money we had to change from just a small school club into a fully functioning small business.͟ The club re-branded from PG Engineering Club to PGE Design, and with our seed money and EdCorp platform a student-run business was born.
Things are moving onward and upwards for PG Engineering Design. In fact, their growth was so fast, one of their biggest struggles was just keeping up with demand. Orders for coasters were coming in so quickly that the students volunteered outside of regular school hours to keep up! “At first, we had issues with time constraints and with working inside of our classroom. Now, we’ve got our time under control and we’ve renovated our room, we just struggle with motivating other members to get involved,” said club member Jordan. Now that PGE Design has managed their coaster production, the students are already plotting their next move. “After producing coasters for some time, we realized that there is a finite demand for coasters within the area we are selling to. To continue generating revenue, we have expanded the products that we offer, and are also attempting to expand the region in which we are selling,” said Matt.
PGE Design is killing it and proving that though time is definitely a factor in developing an EdCorp, it can be done outside the classroom with student dedication and commitment. The students of PGE Design have started a truly successful small business, and we’re amped to see their new products in the years to come.