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KY Innovation Network Center @ EKU plays ‘Shark Tank’ with middle school students

EKU Plays Shark TankOver 100 Conkwright Middle School students from Clark County and their teachers visited EKU’s College of Business and Technology Center on Thurs., Feb. 20, 2014. Hosted by Kentucky Innovation Network Center @ EKU Executive Director Kristel Smith, students joined in on activities simulating their classroom ‘Shark Tank’ project.

The CMS gifted seventh and eighth graders are participating in an entrepreneurial school project called ‘Shark Tank’. The goal for these exceptional middle school students is to invent an actual product using information from each of their core classes (language arts, math, social studies, and science).

Seventh and eighth grade Challengers are Jan Horn (language arts), Stacey McKenzie (math), Travis Marcum (social studies), and Shane Dutton (science). According to the teachers, each student team will prepare a proposal of their created product for presentation to a panel of judges. Participants have complete freedom to develop an idea for an invention or innovation that interests them. Through research, brainstorming, design/prototype, marketing and costing, students learn the dynamics of sound business planning.

Visiting EKU’s College of Business and technology was an invaluable experience to help students with their ‘Shark Tank’ projects. During the presentation, Smith and her assistant Amber Moreland did a ‘Shark Tank’ mini-scenario which allowed the student groups to practice their elevator pitch. Students even received pretend money to spend on each of the projects.

“Having these students on campus is extremely important. It is never too early to begin thinking about college and careers,” said CBT Outreach Coordinator Amanda Lawrence. “If programs like this allow us to spark an interest in these future professionals, we are happy to be a part of that process.”