Tennessee students pitch business proposals to ‘Shark Tank’ | Tennessee News

By DAVID McGEE, Bristol Herald Courier

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — One by one Tuesday afternoon, about a dozen fifth graders from Holston View Elementary walked through a curtain into a dimly lit room and presented their best product to a steely-eyed panel with many questions.

This marked the opening day of the Holston View version of “Shark Tank” 2022, featuring the popular TV show’s theme music. The project was the creation of fifth grade teachers Jill Berthold, Diana Bush and Victoria Lamkin.

“We started this a few years ago when Mrs. Bush went to a goal-based learning session,” Berthold said. “This group of children received a rubric and were fired. These projects are their inventions and innovations — they are all theirs. It meant something to them.

Products featured included everything from a “smart” softball and a special football air pump to a picture frame that displays photos from a smart phone, a tray to organize injured essentials or the elderly, a jacket with a solar panel to keep the wearer warm, a cool pillow, and a device to draw or sketch on a tablet or computer and project the image onto the ceiling.

political cartoons

Student Jackson Walden went so far as to display his “magno ball” basketball design on the t-shirt he wore.

Jackson said his biggest lesson was the confidence he gained while giving his presentation.

“When we started I thought I would do horrible. But after presenting, I thought I had done very well,” he said.

The students were tasked with creating a product idea, designing a prototype to show off and developing their entire presentation, which includes a money request and a business plan, Berthold said.

“They worked on real-life skills. Public speaking, making eye contact, writing thank you notes… It’s something we don’t do every day, but we can include all subjects: math, science, language arts and social studies. . You’ve seen these topics included all day today.

Two rounds were held on Tuesday and two more were held on Thursday. All students have been graded.

“We grade them on their work ethic. The work ethic is big these days and these kids gave 110% and they deserve to get a grade for that,” Berthold said. “Normally it’s something we do after testing. It’s still after testing, but we can note it because it includes all of our basic core courses.

The school’s first “Shark Tank” project took place in 2017, Bush said.

“The first year we started small with six local sharks, but now we’re up to 34 famous sharks,” Bush said.

Nearly 60 students participated and 34 “sharks” from the community, including local businesses, restaurants, shops, real estate executives, CEOs, IT supervisors, government employees, agency founders nonprofits and successful business owners from the major Tri-Cities.

“I feel like we’ve expanded the presentation, the creation, the elaboration of how prototypes are created – and the rigor of it. They can be asked any kind of questions and they have to be ready to answer,” Bush said. “We were so impressed that the students who are usually our silent students in class really come to life and show what they are capable of.”

“As an adult, I don’t think I could do what they do. I can teach children, but being in front of adults is difficult,” Berthold said. “And they don’t know who they’re presenting to; that’s another intimidating factor… It’s not like giving a presentation in front of professors. They are presenting in front of someone they have never met before. It takes a lot.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments are closed.