INVESTOR PANELISTS BITE ON “BARSTOW SHARK TANK” IDEAS
Part of being an inventor and entrepreneur is knowing how to pitch your product, so that’s what upper school Invention Lab students did in front of a panel of professionals on Wednesday, May 9.
Students in the STEAM elective spent the semester learning design philosophies to develop inventions, conduct patent research and construct working prototypes of their amazing ideas before showing them to potential “investors.”
“We called it ‘Barstow Shark Tank,’ but we put a much more positive spin on it,” Invention Lab teacher and STEAM Director Gavin Wood said. “Students had to go through multiple iterations to improve their products and learn what it takes to develop and market it.”
The investors, entrepreneurial Barstow parents and professionals who volunteered to provide feedback, each had $250,000 in 'Barstow Bucks' to invest in the products of their choice.
The process began by settling on an idea that could solve a common problem. Aiden Jacobs said his grandmother told him what a chore laundry had become, so he invented the “Laundry Crane.” Eduardo Luckie invented a multipurpose ball dispenser for baseball coaches. Paco Sheeran presented the “Brick Picker-Upper,” sure to be appreciated by any parent who’s ever stepped on a Lego in their bare feet.
“The judges were really interested in Paco’s device and they liked Eduardo’s ball dispenser. Mason Phillips earned the most ‘money’ with a flexible phone mount originally designed for people in wheelchairs, but has other applications as well,” Wood said. He didn’t provide too many details about the products, as some students may continue to pursue their designs after the course is over.
Joey Pan, Ethan Onyszchuk, Sean Mathews and Nathan Francis also made product pitches. Invention Lab returns in the fall semester as part of Barstow’s commitment to STEAM-based learning in all divisions