Monthly Archives: September 2016

Forming the Tribe: Fun, Hard Work and Commitment


A secret of Acton Academy:  first we make learning fun.

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Then we make Acton Academy a place where you are known and surrounded by people you like and admire, with group activities designed to challenge, inspire and bond – like each Eagle making a Hero Board about his or her life.

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Then we each promise to embark on a Hero’s Journey, each dedicated to finding a calling that will change the world – that means hard work is a must.

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Finally, Eagles commit to each other, signing the contracts and covenants that they have drafted, debated, revised and ratified.


Our Eagles are as serious about their promises as our Founding Fathers who pledged their “lives, fortunes and sacred honor.”  These commitments bind us and serve as guardrails  for our Learner Driven Community.

Are you a Bootstrap Tortoise; an Asset Fox or an MBA Hare?


This year’s Overarching Question asks: Is the truth discovered or created?

Our Session One Entrepreneurship Quest echoes the Overarching Question by asking: Are great opportunities discovered or created?

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Just as importantly, we ask: “Does your entrepreneurial archetype, formed by your gifts, passions and personality, best fit a Bootstrap Tortoise (building businesses one customer at a time;) an Asset Fox (trading assets) or an MBA Hare (chasing the latest hot deal)?

The Quest started with The Trading Game, an action packed, hands on simulation where teams competed not only to win, but to discover which archetype was most appealing for each individual entrepreneur.


We also launched this session’s Entrepreneurship Genre project, where each Eagle will choose an entrepreneurial role model, request an interview and write a Hero Story about his or her role model’s life.

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In Week Two, Eagles shifted to learning how to sell, playing Acton MBA simulations and creating and practicing a sales pitch for their Children’s Business Fair venture.  The winners of the pitch contest enjoyed lunch at El Chilito, but only after pitching a few customers at the restaurant.

A personal favorite opening line, from an Eagle who will sell voodoo dolls at the Children’s Business Fair: “Have you ever disliked someone so much that you wanted to stick him with a pin?” (Spoiler alert – the pitch worked!)


In Week Three, we wrapped up our Bootstrap Tortoise challenges playing the Acton MBA simulation Galactic Zappers and then competing to make sandwiches for the homeless, while learning valuable lessons about throughput, cycle times, bottlenecks and Unit Economics.  (Eagles also learned a valuable lesson about empathy and customer service when they learned the sandwiches were really their lunches and that you must never serve anything to a customer you wouldn’t serve yourself!)

Next week we move on the Asset Fox challenges, as Launchpadders also prepare to take on the Acton MBA’s in a winner-take-all Socratic discussion.

Launching the Year: Is the Truth Discovered or Created?


So what’s the first step on a Hero’s Journey?

Today we started with Acton Academy’s mission: to inspire each person who enters our doors to find a calling that will change the world.    Moments later, our Middle Schoolers and Launchpadders leaped into a flurry of tribe building and entrepreneurial activities.

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Eagles spent much of the morning questioning each other, probing about heroes, gifts and dreams, simultaneously building bonds of friendship as they practiced interviewing skills they’ll need to write a Hero Story about an entrepreneurial role model for this session’s Genre Challenge.

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In the afternoon, Middle School and Launchpad Eagles dove into the Trading Game, the hands-on, action packed contest that launched the Entrepreneurship Quest, and served as a first step to discovering if they are Bootstrap Tortoises, Asset Foxes or an MBA Hares.

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All of this is preparing us to explore this year’s Overarching Question: Is the truth discovered or created? through seven Quests, including forays into Entrepreneurship; Classical and Quantum Physics; Data Visualization; the McCarthy Trial; Programming and Robotics; Art and more.

And to think – this is only Day One!