Pardes Eighth Graders Take the Shark Tank Challenge

May 22 – Makerspace came alive for an entire morning of great entertainment as Eighth graders concluded the school year in true Shark Tank fashion! Working in teams of five, the students invented solutions in response to real life challenges submitted by Pardes teachers.  Then they hit the stage to pitch their products to Sharks, Mr. Gordon, Mr. Flatow and Mrs. Lock in front of a live audience of fellow Eighth graders. Many were successful in getting the Sharks to “invest” in their inventions in return for partial equity in their business.  It was a fast paced and exciting…much like the hit tv show!

Problems ranged from organizational systems to solving technical issues within a classroom. The students had to collaborate with their given team using the design process, meeting with their customer, asking questions, imagining a solution, planning their invention and then physically creating the item. They determined the cost of their product, fixed the price and determined the company’s valuation based on these costs.  

The thoughtfully conceived inventions were a big hit and the presentations were well done! What happens if your whiteboard markers fall off the board…try wearing a bandelier of markers! What happens if your beakers drain onto the counter…create a new drain system! Many of the students learned new skills, such as sewing, using tools, ordering materials, pricing, and marketing while sharpening old skills such as measuring, presenting, and 3D printing.

“I was so impressed with how the kids worked through the design process,” said Makerspace teacher Susan Finks. “They were so creative, from the 3D printed solution to lost pencils, to a lap desk with storage inside so students don’t lose their items.The kids gained 21st Century Learning through hands-on, experiential learning.”