Tackling Business Research

Cartoon of two people researching

Hello! My name is Catherine O’Donnell, and I am the Education Research Intern here at Outgrow Your Garage. I am 18 and have just graduated high school. This month, I’ll be writing all four blogs as a Young Entrepreneur series! In addition to OYG, I also work on AdvancEducation, which is a project to develop and provide advanced science coursework for rural, under-funded high schools that offer few or no advanced classes. The first step in developing this is to create a course. I have started creating an advanced biology course as I enjoy and understand biology. 

If you have a different research question, you can follow this same process to get the most out of your research!

My research question was what businesses have goals similar to mine and what are they doing that is different? It is important to start with a research question so you know what to look for and when you have found the desired information.  

I started with businesses that I already know about. Starting with what you already know can be helpful to organize your information and help you feel like you have a good starting point to your research. I wrote down important information about Outgrow Your Garage and an organization in New Orleans called STEM NOLA. Outgrow Your Garage, as you probably know, focuses on online education in the business and professional development industries. STEM NOLA focuses on K-12 STEM education, but their focus is mainly in-person events in New Orleans. 

While I still found some helpful information learning about these two businesses, they do not yet fit my research question of being similar to mine. So what could I focus on more specifically to find businesses more similar to mine? In this case, I combined the similar features of online education and K-12 STEM education. I found three businesses to look into: Khan Academy, BrainPop, and Discovery Education

Khan Academy is similar, although they have topics beyond STEM and they are also for personal study use. BrainPop is slightly more similar, although they are more directed to K-8 education. And Discovery Education was the closest business I found. They provide STEM curriculum directly to the educator and they focus on K-12 STEM education. 

Here’s what I learned from this:

  • I like the video-based learning content.
  • I like that Discovery Education does their courses as standards-based because this makes courses easier to approve at the state level.
  • I like educational videos that feature a person as well as animation and find that most engaging.
  • What kind of animation should I use? (Here’s my next research question!)

Now that I’ve gone through this process I not only have more information, but also my next research question. I find this process helpful because it helps me organize my information and get the information I am actually looking for. Hopefully, if you try this out, it does the same for you!

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