nfteInnovation! What is is and how can we teach it to children? Big questions today as many of us believe that innovation in many forms is absolutely critical to success in these “interesting” times. Anyone who has spent any time with children (of any age) knows that they are creative and out of the box thinkers. All too often we don’t find enough outlets for that creativity. The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)  is an organization that has as its mission helping to deal with that problem by encouraging and supporting the teaching of innovation. One event that they run is called the NFTE World Series of Innovation. This is a multi-aspect competition for students that encourages them to develop their ideas. This year Microsoft is proud to be one of the major sponsors of this event. From the press release:

The World Series of Innovation extends NFTE's message of the power of entrepreneurship education and the importance of innovation to young people nationwide by challenging teams of students to devise innovative products and services targeted at specific market opportunities and show how they would sell and market to the public.

NFTE is proud to have Microsoft as the presenting sponsor of the World Series of Innovation. Microsoft is issuing a challenge for students to create mobile phone apps and games that raise awareness and provide solutions for common student and school issues. Microsoft will provide the winning teams with a development partner to take the idea and bring it to market.

"Microsoft and NFTE have worked together for a number of years as both our organizations share the goal of encouraging young people to look at the world differently and to think about how they might contribute to make their communities stronger," said Anthony Salcito, Vice President, Worldwide Education, Microsoft Corp. "We are excited to see the mobile app and game ideas students will come up with to improve education. As they gain real world experience in this competition, we hope the students will gain new skills that may help them jump start a career and turn their ideas into reality."

Several other companies and the US department of Education are supporting subsets of the competition as well. The Microsoft challenge for students is to create mobile phone apps and games that raise awareness and provide solutions for common student and school issues. Students are asked to create the concepts and design not create the app or game themselves. The winning team will work with a development partner to make the app or game a reality. Microsoft is working on supporting materials for teachers to use with students to help them develop their ideas and learn about the processes of innovation. These resources will be available upon registration.

Please visit press  release at NFTE World Series of Innovation, Presented by Microsoft, Selected as Featured Event for Global Entrepreneurship Week and the NFTE World Series of Innovation. website for more information.