STUDENT INVENTORS USE CREATIVITY TO SOLVE REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS
Barstow students at every age learn to be makers and doers. Just check out some of their ideas and designs presented during Third Grade Shark Tank and upper school Invention Lab this week.
Third Grade Shark Tank Third grade teachers challenged their students to brainstorm, design and create products that could meet a real-world need during their Shark Tank unit.
Last week, students learned from an actual inventor about how to bring a product from idea to market — a process that usually involves problem-solving, engineering, redesigning, marketing, cost analysis, packaging and finally, selling.
This week, they developed their own products and pitches. They explained their ideas and showed prototypes to classmates using the educational app Flipgrid. Students and teachers watched the pitches and provided comments and positive feedback.
The products included the Termite Avenger pest control device, the Glass Mask that allows people to see facial expressions beneath a facial covering and the Smellmet, a helmet and PPE with a pleasant scent for the wearer.
Invention Lab Mr. Woods' Invention Lab students also brainstormed ideas to solve real-world problems, but they took their pitches to a whole new level. Students presented ideas, market and cost analysis, production processes and start up costs to a panel of experienced innovators and entrepreneurs.
Victor Hwang is a Barstow parent and the former Vice President of Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. Linda Olson is a former Barstow parent who is a mentor for the school's robotics team and owns a geographic information systems consulting firm. Barstow parent Josh LeBeau is a software engineer and co-founder of a geofencing and content aggregator startup.
Five students had seven minutes each to pitch their products:
"Energy Here," a wifi rental vending machine.
"QuestionGen," a quick and simple homework and study app.
"Grocery Cart+," a compartmentalized shopping cart to make shopping more efficient.
"Precise Marking," a tool that improves upon calipers for easier and more precise measurements.
"Ice Hammer," an adaptation of a reciprocating saw that clears ice from windshields with ease.
The expert panel asked each student questions about startup costs and marketability then provided feedback about possible improvements, evolutions and applications before awarding "Barstow Bucks" as in investment. The experts praised the students' ingenuity, and even recommended that some of the students look into patenting their ideas.