Leesburg, VA (Mar. 8, 2016) – Innovation was in the air February 18th in the media center at Smart’s Mill Middle School.
Thirty seventh-grade students in the classes of social studies teachers Courtney Jackson and Gina Veschi and civics teacher Jetta Walls took part in the “Shark Tank Finals.”
Based on the popular TV show, the seventh-graders made business presentations to “shark” investors, who had to determine if they would invest in the products being pitched. “Sharks” for the event included Brooke Breeden, Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) Public Information Officer Wayde Byard, Melissa Franklin, Randy Jackson, Leesburg School Board member Tom Marshall, Dora McMichael, Jason Miller, Ashley Pack, Pat Quante, Weston Rhodes, Lisa Sobhani, Leesburg Supervisor Kristen Umstattd, Terisa Vaillancourt and Smart’s Mill Principal Will Waldman.
The potential projects the Sharks judged had to:
- Solve a problem and make life easier;
- Have a production cost;
- A target market;
- A marketing plan.
Among the innovative items were an auto-setting table. This device fed plates and silverware onto an interior conveyor belt that lifted them on to a table. The price of this device was $899.99 to $1,999.99 depending on its height (plates and silverware, not included).
The Jumping Jack Super Shoe was a product that was restricted to law-enforcement use only. It allowed its wearer to run faster and jump higher and its creator didn’t want it falling into the wrong hands.
There was a solar-powered underwater speaker system with a built in light show for those who wanted to take their entertainment to new depths.
There was a 3000 series coffee cup with an eight-hour warming cycle and blue tooth technology. Why 3000? It sounded cool. Speaking of cool, the cup that could keep a drink cold for eight hours was still in the development phase.
An Orb Camera used cutting-edge technology to allow the blind to see. A miniature camera would use the human mind as the ultimate data processing center.
Then there was the FSM (food spray machine). This devise would turn good-tasting food (hamburgers, fries) into a colored spray that could be applied to bad-tasting, but healthy, foods (broccoli was prominently mentioned in this category). FSM was targeted at children who refused to eat vegetables and the parents frustrated by this experience.
Hear You Maybe was a device that let the wearer tune out sounds they didn’t want to hear, such as background noise during a lecture (or, perhaps, the lecture itself if it was really boring).
Most of the students were seeking six figures to develop their ideas – some of which were easily worth that sort of investment.