Twenty-five Davis Academy sixth graders participated in an entrepreneurial project as part of their technology class, which included a presentation process that emulated the popular ABC reality show, Shark Tank.
The project challenged sixth grade technology students to brainstorm a problem and then develop a product to help solve the problem. As part of the design process, students conducted careful research about products on the market similar to theirs and differentiated their projects from competitors, built a business plan, developed a budget, crafted a marketing plan, and used TinkerCad to produce a 3D printed prototype of their project.
Once completed, the five finalists “pitched” their inventions to a panel of “sharks” that included (Retha) Renee Sander, CEO of BLAMCO, LLC and Founder/CEO of BLAMtastic, LLC, Mark Edelstein, entrepreneur and advocate for healthcare simplification, interoperability and patient rights, and Ben Halpert, vice president of risk and corporate security at Ionic Security and founder of Savvy Cyber Kids.
The following students presented in the final round of the competition:
Jordan Frank, who created “The S.T.U.D.,” a stud that can go on soccer cleats that allows for players and coaches to track performance stats to allow for players to improve their skills.
Aidan Kramer, who created “The S Pack”, a backpack that comes equipped with everything you’ll need to survive if you get lost while camping.
Ryan Reiss, who created “The Superstar Guitar” A guitar that helps you learn to play the guitar without having to pay for lessons by connecting with an app that guides you through guitar playing.
Mallory Rosen, who created “The Pocket Pillow”, a pillow designed to be so foldable that it can fit inside your pocket, so that it’s easy to travel with.
Frankie Silverman, who created “The C Award”, a customizable award for science fairs, sporting events, and any other situation where there will be an award ceremony.
When asked about his experience being a part of the “Shark Tank” styled panel, Ben Halpert stated: “I was fortunate enough to be asked to be a Shark during the Shark Tank experience at the Davis Academy Middle School. It was exciting to see how mature, well-spoken, and entrepreneurial the 6th graders were. Davis Academy is doing a great service in helping students cultivate the mindset needed to excel in today’s fast paced world. I look forward to seeing these students make impactful contributions as they continue their studies and work towards achieving their goals!”
Finalists’ pitches were evaluated based on the on fluidity of speech during their presentation, how well their pitch would hook a potential investor, and the uniqueness of the product. All five finalists were named winners of the competition and will received a 3D printed medal, which will be designed and printed with the Davis Academy 3D printer.
Panelist Renee Sandler saw this program as a beneficial learning opportunity not only as a part of the sixth grade technology class curriculum but also in setting a foundation in students for when these students eventually start their professional careers. She said: “only 25 percent of young people know what they want to pursue as a career by the time they graduate from high school. Exercises such as the Davis Academy Shark Tank empower young people to explore and expand on innovation through entrepreneurship. Young people have dreams, ideas and a drive to succeed. They need an ecosystem to support their vision and help them cultivate it into a viable business. In the end, it is about helping our kids find their personal and professional “true north”.”