Unless you live under a rock without a computer, phone, or access to any human beings,
you live in a community of people. You not only have the power to make a difference
in your own life, but also in the lives of those around you—in your neighborhood.
In your community.
Example: In the video Abuelo Park, Abrielle is frustrated that there is no
nice place to play or to take her grandfather in his wheelchair. She makes a plan,
enlists the help of her neighbors and turns an empty lot into a beautiful park—making
a difference in the whole community and launching a career as a landscape architect.
Living in a democracy means that you, as an individual, have a voice in the big
things that happen in your community and your country though they may seem way too
out of reach. Our country was founded on democracy that gives every single citizen
a voice and the ability to impact the community, the government and the future.
You really can make a difference!
Example: In the video I Am the Government, Ben, a successful printer in the
colonial days of the 1700s, saw a problem—England had way too much control. They
were taxing the colonists too much and preventing people from being as successful
as they could be. Ben doesn’t just watch this unfold; he speaks up! He uses his
printing business to tell people what he thinks and, with the help of his friends,
he creates a new kind of government in which all the people are encouraged to express
Change happens. Nothing stays the same forever. Sometimes change—like a move or
a new teacher or a new situation—can fill you with fear and really close you down.
But if you can accept that change is going to happen, and really use those changes
to grow, to learn, and to try new things, you can turn change into positive new
Example: In the video Corny but True, Cornelia has a booming popcorn business
that she runs on the corner of a busy street in the big city. Business is great
until she has to move to the country with her family. Nobody buys her popcorn and
her business dies. It could be the end, but Cornelia embraces the change and comes
up with a whole new way to sell her popcorn that she never would have thought of
back in the city.
An entrepreneur is a person who starts a new business by coming up with new ideas,
taking risks, persevering through challenges, believing in him or herself and identifying
opportunities. Lots of entrepreneurs give back to their communities by creating
new jobs and encouraging other new businesses. Entrepreneurs are ordinary people
who do extraordinary things!
Example: In the video Be an Entrepreneur, the whole ATB gang comes together
to show what it really means to be an entrepreneur. They all have started new businesses
by tapping into their passions, setting goals, accepting risks, thinking creatively
and working together to solve problems.
Exploration is all about looking harder, digging deeper, going where no one has
gone before and trying new paths. Just because it hasn’t been done before doesn’t
mean it can’t be done!
Example: In the video E-Ship, Ethan’s interests and curiosity lead him to
explore the internet and create a never-before-seen way for people to travel.
Every time you try something that doesn't work, you're one step closer to finding
what does work. Mistakes are great teachers—they show you something about how to
reach or not reach your goal. Mistakes bring you closer to success, so keep trying.
New ideas don’t always work the first time around, but if you fail at something—and
everyone does—learning from that failure and moving forward can be the secret to
Example: In the video Toast of the Town, Grace has a great idea—a toaster
that burns your name onto a piece of bread. She tries everything to make it work.
She blows fuses, incinerates loaf after loaf and tweaks her prototype each time
she fails until she finally creates a Name Toaster that works. It’s the best thing
since sliced bread!
Anything you set your mind to doing involves setting a goal or an objective. Do
you want to get home in time for dinner? Better set the goal of getting to the bus
before it leaves and make that happen! Do you dream of being an astronaut someday?
Better study hard and get good grades. Want to start your own business? Work toward
that goal by learning all you can, assembling a team if you need to and persevering
through the hard times. In the end the goals you set help you make your own dreams
Example: In the video Drawing Board, Josh is inspired as a kid when he sees
an architect’s plan turn into his family’s new house. From that point on he sets
goals, works hard to meet them and finally makes his dream of being an architect
Ideation is a complex word made up of the two words that describe it—idea and creation.
Ideation is the creation of a lot of new ideas in response to a problem or roadblock.
Ideation is a great skill to have because it lets you realize that any problem or
roadblock that you may come across is a great opportunity to create and gather new
ideas to help you find solutions.
Example: In the video New Ideas, when Josh and Jenna’s mom is too busy to
cook dinner most nights, the kids are faced with the problem of having to come up
with ideas for good meals they can make for themselves. They know lots of their
friends’ families have the same problem, so Josh and Jenna bring everyone together
and come up with lots of ideas for getting decent dinners to all the kids every
night. Their ideation and hard work help them launch a successful meal delivery
Thinking independently means that you can consider things openly and honestly and
come up with fresh ideas without any judgment. When you are close-minded you have
already made up your mind about something or someone and can’t see beyond what you
think you already know. That can make it a lot harder to think creatively, solve
problems and meet new friends.
Example: In the video Snow Pals, Lexi and Shiloh discover that regular snowboards
just aren’t working for them. They put their heads together to invent a board that
they both can ride, and they create a whole new craze on the slopes! Their independent
thinking also helps those around them see that it’s OK to be different. Thinking
independently can lead to a lot of success.
When you have strength in your own individuality you have already discovered your
own sense of self. You know who you are and what is important to you. You know what
you are capable of and what drives you. You believe in the power of you!
Example: In the video Tru-D True, Tru-D True loves wearing his hair in lots
of wild styles. He is proud of who he is and what he likes to do. He becomes a successful
hair stylist despite all the kids who gave him a hard time for being different.
To fully understand something, you have to ask questions. Why is something the way
it is? Does it have to be that way? Is there a better way? Ask! The more targeted
questions you ask, the more you’ll learn and the more successful you’ll be.
Example: In the video Hammocks, Ally questions the routine of making her
bed in the morning. Why does she have to make her bed? Is there some other way?
Does she have to sleep in a bed at all? In the end she comes up with a new idea
to eliminate one of her chores and starts a booming new business!
Sometimes when you’re trying to solve a problem you tackle it head on and come up
with straightforward ideas. But thinking about the issue in a different way may
lead to a really cool solution you never even dreamed of. Try turning the problem
around and looking at it from a new perspective, a different angle. You will probably
find answers and solutions you hadn’t even considered!
Example: In the video Skateboardin’ Gal, skateboarder Grace and science buff
Simon each bring a unique perspective to Grace’s problem of having nowhere to carry
all her stuff when she’s on her board. They put their heads together, look at the
problem from different angles and create an amazing new skateboard.
If you have the ability to influence and lead it means that people around you respect
you and will respond to what you say. You can set a good example, you understand
how things and people work together, and you can lead a team toward reaching a goal.
A leader manages, motivates, and helps others to work towards the success of the
Example: In the video Our Scene, Zoe, a computer whiz, leads a team of talented
kids in the creation of an amazing new web site.
When something interests you or you’re passionate about something, you want to know
more. Motivation is the drive that makes you want to achieve a goal or conquer a
challenge. That kind of motivation comes from inside you—it’s called intrinsic (or
internal) motivation. The kind of motivation that comes from outside is called external
Example: In the video High Winds, Lexi loves the wind that whips around her
tall apartment building and likes flying kites out of the windows. Her love of kites
motivated her to want to spend more time making them. Her need to make a living
motivated her to create a kite business.
Passion is the thing you love doing so much you just want to do it all the time.
Maybe it’s baking, making music, sports or writing. It’s such a driving force that
it helps shape your interests and eventually your life. Once you find it, all you
want to do is work harder, learn more about it, and keep doing it no matter what
Example: In the video Bike Buzz, Tyler finds his passion when he discovers
how much he likes fixing bikes.
Persistence is the ability to keep trying to reach your goals and make things happen
no matter what obstacles, distractions, and frustrations come in your way. Perseverance
is the ability to hang in there when the going gets rough. Persistence and perseverance
are a dynamic duo.
Example: In the video Cookie Crumbles, sales are slow at Jenna’s once-thriving
cookie business. She tries to figure out why, but sales continue to drop until finally,
after much trying, testing and inventing she comes up with a new flavor that’s a
smash hit. Her persistence and perseverance made her successful again.
There are problems that arise every day: what to wear, what to eat, what to do,
how to get your homework done or how to help a sick pet. Obstacles are everywhere
and they are great springboards for new ideas. Problem solving is figuring out a
way to turn the problem into a solution or an answer. Use your imagination—take
a look at everyday problems and see if you can discover new ways to solve them.
Problem solving can be creative and fun!
Example: In the video Reversal of Fortunes, Zach’s problem is that his pack
is way too heavy. How can he carry all his stuff? Zach turns the problem into a
lucrative solution when he creates a new pack with wheels that can actually carry
You have to your actions—be reliable to yourself and others, work
hard and do the right thing when you take on a task or a job. If you are responsible,
you are really in control of the outcome.
Example: In the video Hackers, Cal hacks into his school's computers, gets
caught, and ends up discovering that he needs to take responsibility for what he
did. Cal makes up for his bad choice by using his skills to protect the school's
computer system from hackers. AND he goes on to start his own tech security business.
There’s always someone who is going to say “No” or “That will never work” or “You
just can’t do that.” Don’t let that freeze you up. When you have an idea, take the
risk and go for it. It may not work, but if you take the risk and try it, your idea
just may work out!
Example: In the video Pet Rollers, Zach needs to find a way to control his
pets’ shedding—or give them away! He tries lots of new ideas out and finally focuses
on one. He decides to ignore the people who think his new idea won’t work. He takes
a risk and creates a new product called “Pet Rollers” that becomes a big hit!
Self-confidence is knowing that you have what it takes to navigate any situation.
It’s about believing in yourself and knowing that you are able to rise to the occasion,
get the help you need, solve problems that come up and succeed no matter what.
Example: In the video Emotia-Hats, Nickie is nervous about being at a new
school, but she has a new idea she wants to make happen. Can she do it? How will
she do it? Does she have what it takes? Nickie taps into her confidence, draws on
her resources, and works hard to turn her crazy new idea into a reality that rocks
the world of fashion!
Get to know yourself! Since there is only one YOU, there’s no one else exactly like
you. Just like fingerprints are all unique, so are a person's interests, skills
and passions. Once you tap into what makes you YOU, you’ll unlock the secret of
how to enjoy your future and gain a great sense of power.
Example: In the video Show It, Brady got a better sense of himself when he
learned about his strengths and weaknesses. He wasn't so great at sports, but he
was awesome at sports photography. That discovery led him to a new and successful
People who have a good education and know how they learn best have more control
over what happens in their lives, so it’s up to you to invest time and energy in
your own learning. Whatever you want to do in life, whether it’s playing the piano,
being a pilot or a basketball player, you will need to learn and to practice. You
are in control of what you want to do and what you want to be!
Example: In the video Treasure Hunt, Justin wants to take his love of collecting
stuff at garage sales to a new level, so he learns and practices new skills in order
to turn his hobby into a profitable business.
The system is the big picture. Sometimes we get caught up in looking only at smaller
pieces and we get a little stuck. To get unstuck what you need to do is take a step
back and change your point of view. When you do this you can get a fresh take on
things. You can recognize patterns and connections, and understand that there are
lots of small pieces that come together to make a whole, big picture.
Example: In the video This is My Neighborhood, Amity’s neighborhood is drab,
empty and depressed. She looks at the big picture and decides to bring her community
together and improve their neighborhood by creating a new place to eat, dance and
hang out. Once the business begins to boom, more businesses pop up as more people
come and more jobs are created. The neighborhood is improved because Amity sees
how it's all connected and takes the first step to make a difference.
YOU are the one in charge. It doesn’t mean that you are bossing people around to
get your own way; it means that you are not a victim and you know that blaming other
people won’t solve your problems. Being in charge of yourself is about accepting
that success is up to you. Success is controllable and connected to your own perseverance
and willingness to try. So try out your ideas, don’t be afraid to commit to something—go
Example: In the video Bugged Out, Ally has a crazy idea of getting a bug’s
eye view by strapping tiny cameras on cockroaches to see where they go. It fails
and fails again, but each time she learns something new until she's able to make
a successful camera, save a little girl and launch a new business!
An assumption is an idea that you automatically believe to be correct without even
questioning it. In some cases this may be valid. It is an assumption that the sky
will darken in the evening. But all assumptions can (and should) be questioned or
challenged. For example will the night sky seem dark in the middle of brightly lit
Example: In the video Hammocks, Ally questions the assumption that kids have
to make their bed every morning. Why does she have to make her bed? Is there some
other way? Does she have to sleep in a bed at all? In the end she comes up with
a new idea to eliminate one of her chores and starts a booming new business!
When a group of people shares ideas in order to find creative ways to solve a problem
or do a task, that's brainstorming. It's a good way to encourage new ways of thinking
because people bring different experiences and skills and can combine their ideas
in surprising ways.
Example: In the video Charge It!, Tyler and his friends brainstorm a new
way to generate electricity when a storm knocks out the power in their town.
A photographic print of architectural drawings, usually white lines on blue paper.
Blueprints are a type of schematic. (See Schematic).
Example: In the video Drawing Board, a blueprint is used literally as a plan
for building a house, but it's also used as a symbol of Josh's goal for his life:
to become an architect. When he sets that goal as a child, he creates a blueprint
for his life and builds his plan around reaching the goal.
An organization or fund set up to help people in need.
Example: In the video Be an Entrepreneur, the whole ATB gang comes together
to show what it really means to be an entrepreneur. Part of starting your own successful
business is creating the ability to share some of the profits by giving to charity.
A person who uses a product or service. In some cases, the consumer and the customer
are the same. But sometimes a customer might buy a product for someone else who
uses it. For example, you might be the customer who buys some perfume for your mom.
In that case, your mom is the consumer.
Example: In the video Cookie Crumbles, it takes Jenna 129 tries to find a
cookie recipe that will be a hit with consumers.
A person who buys a product or service from someone else.
Example: In the video Tru-D True, Tru-D True finds daring customers (also
called clients) for his wild styles and opens his own hair salon.
Economy can mean different things depending on its context. It can mean the efficient
use of money and other resources, or a savings of money, or a system for producing,
distributing and consuming products and services. This last definition is what people
mean when they talk about the economy being strong or weak.
Example: In the video This is My Neighborhood, Amity helps improve the economy
of her whole neighborhood when she starts a new business.
To empower someone is to grant that person power, permission or authority to do
something. When you are empowered, you have power and control over something.
Example: In the video Sense of Self, Brady first struggles to find what he's
good at, but when he discovers he loves photography AND he's good at it, he's empowered.
His power is his own and he uses it to rock the sports world.
This can mean several things—a willingness to take action, a challenging project,
or a business organization.
Example: In the video Emotia-Caps, Nickie is very enterprising when she takes
the time to learn new skills, build a team and create a new business. Her hard work
turns her crazy new idea into a successful enterprise and rocks the world of fashion!
A purpose or intention that someone desires and works toward.
Example: In the video Drawing Board, Josh is inspired by seeing his family's
house being designed and built. He sets a goal for himself to become an architect
and makes a life plan to reach the goal.
When people talk about growth of a business, they mean serving more customers, making
more products, and becoming larger or more complex.
Example: In the video Snow Pals, Lexi and Shiloh invent a new type of snowboard
that they both can ride and create a whole new craze on the slopes. The growth of
their new business was fantastic and soon they were “making money hand over fist!”
As a verb, to influence means to affect or change someone or something. As a noun
it means someone or something that has an effect on others' actions or beliefs.
Example: In the video Our Scene, Zoe, a computer whiz, uses her influence
to lead a team of talented kids in the creation of an amazing new web site.
Someone who runs or directs a business or a part of a business.
Example: In the video Our Scene, Zoe had a great idea to create a web site
where kids can meet. She knows she can't do it all herself, but she can bring a
team together and keep them inspired and focused on the goal. By having the vision
and stepping up to take the lead, she becomes an awesome project manager.
What you believe about life, work and money is your philosophy—a system of values
by which one lives. It’s partly taught by your family and shaped by the experiences
you have had in your life.
Example: In the video Hackers, Cal develops a new philosophy about using
his computer hacking skills. At first, he hacks into his school’s computers to play
a trick, but he gets caught, and realizes that it’s way better to use your skills
for good than for harm. He develops a new tech security business helping schools
prevent people from hacking their computer systems.
The power, freedom and right to do, think, speak, etc. according to your choice.
Example: In the video I Am the Government, Ben and his pals Tom and George
in the colonial days of the 1700s, put together a little document called the Declaration
of Independence that calls for people to have a voice in their own government. The
document gives Americans the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
A way of doing things that is indirect or not obvious.
Example: In the video Skateboardin’ Gal, Grace at first thinks Simon’s scientific
approach to solving her skateboard problem is “a little oblique,” but she soon realizes
that it’s really helpful to look at things from a different angle. Grace and Simon
end up putting their heads together to create an amazing new skateboard!
A possibility that comes about because of good timing or a good combination of circumstances.
Example: In the video Corny but True, Cornelia turns her family’s move from
the city to the country into a new opportunity for her popcorn business.
A partnership is when two or more people or groups join forces to do business together.
Usually it's a way to combine different sets of skills and resources and then to
share in the profits of the business.
Example: In the video Charge It!, Tyler and his bike-riding friends put their
heads together to solve their lack of electricity problem when the lights go out
in their town. They form a partnership and work together to create an innovative
new way to generate power.
Something that is produced or made through work.
Example: In the video Cookie Crumbles, Jenna works hard to come up with a
new product when sales slow down at her cookie company. Her brand new cookie flavor
is a smash and sales go through the roof!
Retail refers to selling products directly to a consumer—someone who will be using
the products—rather than to someone who will resell them (that would be a reseller
or wholesaler). Retail sales are usually in small amounts and happen through a store.
Example: In the video Treasure Hunt, Justin decides to sell his junk treasures
at garage sales, retail and on the internet.
Revenue is the money a person or business gets from a business, investment or property.
Example: In the video This is My Neighborhood, Amity begins to make lots
of revenue (money) when her business takes off!
A diagram, chart or drawing that shows the layout of something. (See Blueprint)
Example: In the video Drawing Board, Josh is amazed to see that his family's
house started with an architectural schematic. This realization helps him see that
setting a goal starts with making a plan and building on it.
Some businesses provide products, while others provide services. A service business
is set up to supply some kind of need the public has, like repair, delivery or transportation.
Example: In the video New Ideas, Josh and Jenna turn their dinner-making
duty into a thriving home-cooked catering and meal delivery service.
The method or process of solving a problem. It can also mean the answer to a problem.
Example: In the video Skateboardin’ Gal, Grace is having trouble carrying
her stuff when she rides her skateboard. She finds a solution from “an unexpected
source” when she and her science-buff friend Simon put their heads together and
create an amazing new skateboard!
An amount of money citizens must give to the government to pay for services and
facilities the government provides. There are different kinds of taxes; on a person's
income (the money people make in their jobs), on sales of products, and on property,
like houses and cars.
Example: In the video I Am the Government, the British government was making
the American colonists pay too many taxes, so Ben and his friends took a stand and
fought for their independence.
An area of land defined by certain physical features.
Example: In the opening segment to every ATB video, Peabody drives his ATB
over some very bumpy terrain!
Money that is paid or earned for work or services.
Example: In the video Be an Entrepreneur, the ATB kids started lots of business
and now provide jobs to a lot of people. All the people that work in their shops
and factories will earn wages.