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Students Learn Entrepreneurship Firsthand A high school program teaches students the basics of entrepreneurship by giving them the reins to a publishing business.

By Devlin Smith

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I never liked economics in high school. It was so ridiculouslyboring, having to watch videos of ancient professors drone onendlessly about supply and demand. Thankfully, it only lasted asemester.

Students at El Toro High School in Lake Forest, California,aren't suffering through economics the way I did. Through theVirtual Enterprise program, a select group of students are learningthe theories and principles behind economics by doing.During the course of the 2002-2003 school year, the 30 students inMarie Wake's economics class have been developing ParagonPublishing, the publisher of Flip, an e-zine featuring content forboys and girls.

"It was a new experience, and I thought it would teach memore than a regular class," says Elizabeth Duckworth, an ElToro senior and CEO of Paragon. Students in the class, who take oneyear of economics rather than one semester, learn the basics ofeconomics from a standard textbook, then put all those theoriesinto practice running Paragon. The class not only handles thebusiness side of the magazine--with students running theaccounting, human resources and marketing portions of thepublisher--but they also create content and art for the magazineand sell virtual ads and subscriptions.

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