An education in innovative thinking can change a person’s life, opening the door to more fulfilling careers and better opportunities to make a real impact on the world. Unfortunately, it’s not something most people are likely to receive in a traditional academic setting—unless they’re a student of Don Wettrick.

Wettrick is a teacher at Noblesville High School just north of Indianapolis, IN and the co-founder of StartEdUp, an organization that’s changing education by empowering innovation and entrepreneurship in the classroom. Wettrick has 20 years of experience as a middle school and high school educator, and for the past five years, he’s been developing and teaching a curriculum that encourages students to follow their passions and work on projects that truly excite and inspire them.

I met with Don in Noblesville High School’s awesome Library/Innovation Center for this interview, and he shared his best innovation education secrets that learners of all ages can apply. In this episode, we discuss how to brainstorm and develop innovative ideas, how to connect with influential people through social media, and how to push through fear to do the work you’re meant to do. We even speak with two of Don’s students for a closer look at how his innovation course is having a positive impact on their lives.

When you’ve finished listening to this episode, I highly encourage you to check out the StartEdUp podcast, in which Don and his student co-host interview experts in education, innovation and entrepreneurship and discuss how anyone has the power to change the world and live life to the fullest. And for deeper insights into Don’s innovation course and what he’s learned from teaching it, read his book, Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation and Taking 20% Time to the Next Level.

In this episode with Don Wettrick, you’ll learn:

  • Why and how he’s teaching innovation and entrepreneurship to high school students (4:15)
  • Proven strategies for encouraging innovative thinking in a classroom setting (11:46)
  • Practical tips for connecting with anyone through social media (17:37)
  • About his special “ROTH IRA” process for innovation education (26:05)
  • How two of his students have been positively impacted by his curriculum (31:30)

Please enjoy this conversation with Don Wettrick!


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Don Wettrick Quotes from This Episode of Powderkeg:

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Companies and Organizations:






Charity: Water



Schools and Universities:

Noblesville High School

Stanford University

Duke University

Books and Publications:

Pure Genius

Fast Company

The Indianapolis Star


StartEdUp Podcast

The Innovation Teacher

Daniel Pink’s TED Talk

Vsauce3 YouTube Channel


Don Wettrick (@DonWettrick)

Tim Ferriss (@tferriss)

Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee)

Jocko Willink (@jockowillink)

Daniel Pink (@DanielPink)

Naveen Jain (@Naveen_Jain_CEO)

Scott Harrison (@scottharrison)

Jake Roper (@jakerawr)

Seth Godin (@ThisIsSethsBlog)

Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself)

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Don Wettrick on Twitter!

If you enjoyed this session and have few seconds to spare, let Don Wettrick know via Twitter by clicking on the links below:

Click here to say hi and thank Don Wettrick on twitter!


What stood out most to you about what Don Wettrick share in this podcast?

For me, it’s the proven strategies for encouraging innovative thinking in a classroom setting.

You? Leave a comment below.


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