Green Cluster Students Pitch Inventions to a Shark

Posted on Thursday, November 19th, 2020

In a show of ingenuity, a group of Green Cluster students presented their finest inventions to a man famous for being an entrepreneur, an investor, a politician, a Shark — “Mr. Wonderful,” Kevin O’Leary.

For the second year in a row, students in Head Teacher Sara Curwin and Assistant Teacher Chryzl Goco’s class participated in a Shark Tank project, and this year they had a very special guest judge to review their presentations. 

For the assignment, students were given the opportunity to become either inventors or innovators and create their own product. 

They used the design cycle to first brainstorm then create the product, after which they calculated the cost to make the product, the price to sell it, and the profit they would receive.

Students then had to write a research paper explaining why and how their product worked. 

“The only rule was all creations must be unique and have the purpose of helping others,” Ms. Curwin said. 

Once their projects were complete, students prepared to present their creations to their classmates in a Shark Tank style setting, where one product would “win” and be invested in.

However, instead of presenting to a group of pretend “Sharks,” thanks to a connection with one of the classroom parents, the students got the opportunity to present their products to an actual investor from Shark Tank: Kevin O’Leary, also known as Mr. Wonderful. 

Mr. O’Leary listened to each presentation, then provided useful feedback to each group. 

He also shared his personal story of living with dyslexia. He encouraged the students to see their learning differences as superpowers, and told them that if they took anything away from the activity, it was to always have confidence.

Ms. Curwin said the project is important because it incorporates skills, such as collaboration, teamwork, math, presentation skills, writing skills, and research skills. 

“While I think that this activity has always been important, it is especially important now due to the current climate,” she said. “Students have more of a reason now than ever to brainstorm ways to help individuals during this difficult time.”

The winners of the competition were Sadie S. and Peyton V. with their product “The WRAP,” which is a plastic wrap that goes over shoes to keep them clean.