Shark Tank at Excel Academy

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Young Americans provided guidance and curriculum support to Excel Academy’s Entrepreneurship Enrichment Class this semester.  After five months of hard work, we witnessed the development of the students’ business ideas and presentation skills when they gave their final pitches during shark-tank style presentations last week.

The Entrepreneurship Enrichment Class was a popular elective choice for students at Excel Academy in Arvada. It was comprised of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders and met every Friday afternoon. The students went through all the steps of our entrepreneurship curriculum: problem solving, brain storming, identifying target market, and identifying startup costs. They had guest speakers visit the class as suggested in the curriculum, and they also watched videos of other young entrepreneur on www.builderslab.org. Check it out for inspiration and business know how!

CowchairOn Friday afternoon, the students presented their businesses to a panel of “sharks” in the gym.  The girls from the business Chin Chee Chair made a prototype for their presentations.  A Chin Chee Chair is a customizable stuffed animal that is a cuddly stuffed animal and also a place to sit. The girls bought the fabric, but saved money and labor by repurposing other items in their house to make the cute cow that impressed the judges.

An excited and engaged student named Cameron was looking to solve the problem of Shark Tank at Excel Academypainful falls that many beginner snowboarders feel when they get off the lift because one foot must be unstrapped from the back binding on the board. He created a product that goes between the bindings for the snowboarder to use temporarily to help with balance and control. Some of the other business included a lawn care service, a 3-in-1 brush, and pre-mixed pancake batter in a pourable bottle.

It was fun to see Macey and Jocelyn take action on their business idea by making enough products in time to participate at the Young Americans’ Spring Young Entrepreneurs Marketplace. Their business M & J Duct Tape and Paper Décor sold duct tape flowers, bows and wallets, and paper decorations to shoppers.

Thank you to Excel Academy, Mrs. Heather Haberman, and her class of hard working middle school students for allowing Young Americans to help with their entrepreneurial class! If you need curriculum support for an enrichment club at your school, contact Maura at mmcinerney@yacenter.org.

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