Our Difference
Sands Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership

CEL: 5-9

Skills-Based Courses

To execute their entrepreneurial ideas, students need a foundational skillset that requires knowledge in areas outside of a traditional education. The CEL 5-9 curriculum is the product of a cross-disciplinary collaboration in business, design, and technology and serves as a model for the creative problem solving we ask of our students.

Our Curriculum

All SCH students experience the sixteen CEL classes throughout their 5th-9th grade years. This curriculum provides the supportive space to experiment, play, and learn from failure. Expert faculty guide students through project-based experiences that engage their entrepreneurial mindset and provide them with the technical skills they will need to bring their ideas to life. These projects develop their problem-solving abilities and establish a comfort with undefined structures.


At the core of entrepreneurship lie the fundamentals of business. A heavy emphasis is placed on effective teamwork as students conduct research, develop products, manage budgets, and run statistical analyses. This skill progression provides an especially useful knowledge base for students interested in the Capstone Startup and Social Impact studios, as well as the Venture Incubator.


In collaboration with SCH's award-winning Engineering and Robotics Department, CEL provides every student with an introduction to programming and circuitry. These classes are hands-on and energetic, as students compete in LEGO robot races and program Arduino boards using C/C++ to receive different sensory inputs. The Capstone Invention studio, engineering electives, and FIRST teams are excellent options for advanced learning in this field.


Accomplished professionals from the Arts and New Media Department shape our students as visual storytellers by teaching them to use digital design, video, fabrication, and code to convey ideas. Our youngest students experiment with programming languages and high-end design technology, such as laser cutters, 3D printers, HTML5 and Swift. The Capstone New Media and Coding studios and arts electives support students interested in architecture, fashion, film, publication, product design, and apps.

Venture Incubator

The CEL Venture Incubator is an extracurricular opportunity open to students below 10th grade who are interested in developing a business venture. Individuals and teams submit their ideas for review and, if selected, are partnered with external mentors who help them navigate the various phases of taking an idea from rough concept to authentic outcome. Throughout the process, students are given the opportunity to pitch their business plan to seasoned investors and entrepreneurs.

Mailing Address: 500 West Willow Grove Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118
Main Reception: 215-247-4700    |   Campus Security: 267-246-8427
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Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (SCH) is an independent school offering a rigorous college preparatory program that delivers an unparalleled academic experience.
The school’s unique model is distinguished by single-sex education for the lower grades (Pre-K through 8) followed by a coed Upper School.