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State Superintendent Ritz Visits McCordsville Elementary & Mt. Vernon Middle School

State Superintendent Ritz Visits McCordsville Elementary & Mt. Vernon Middle School

What do Glenda Ritz, entrepreneurship and sharks have in common? At McCordsville Elementary, State Superintendent Glenda Ritz will be visiting the fourth grade simulation of “Shark Tank” on Friday, March 11th at 1:30 p.m. (visitation schedule is subject to change).  Student groups are currently busy presenting their entrepreneurship ideas to their classrooms, a few of which include: fruit and vegetable popsicles, hot hands (gloves with battery-operated warmers), fashion friend (a fathead picture of yourself on an easel where clothes are pinned on to provide a visual) and a robot that scans for people trespassing in school buildings, among many other unique ideas.


Fourth grade teacher, Fred Bays, designed the economy and entrepreneurship project for fourth grade and states, “63 state standards are covered with this one group project.  Lessons in science, social studies (history of Indiana business), reading, language, math (real world problems) and persuasive writing are all featured standards.  Students will likely be unaware of all the learning factors and personal growth in completing this project.”


Students have to demonstrate the skills of developing a business as an entrepreneur using the scientific method, persuasive writing and presentation skills.  The student groups of three are required to follow the timeline and Shark Tank pitch guidelines, prepare a business plan, utilize vocabulary words and understand the grading rubrics.  The students spent a lot of time researching the cost of materials and competitors.


Since Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation (MVCSC) is a 1:1 technology environment (one computer device for each student), all students were required to create an iMovie promotion video on their iPads as part of their presentation.


The business plan is one of the most important aspects, as students are engaged in developing the concept, cost and finalize their target audience.  They then turn their concept into a persuasive argument sharing why their product is needed and make a prototype.  


Teachers select the top three groups in their classroom to present.  This is followed by a group presentation with all five fourth grade teachers as the “sharks” who select one product per classroom.  The class winner receives free homework for one week in every class and $100 in class money.


On Friday, March 11th at 12:40pm the entire school will be assembled in the gym to watch the top five products presenting their pitch to the fourth grade teacher sharks.  The sharks will be joined by a sixth pure business shark Brandon Godbey, the CEO of Tao Group.  Any business who secures a loan with a shark will win real cash on a visa card.


The fourth grade teachers enjoyed transforming into sharks and their characters.  They produced a video introducing the sharks, similar to the opening of the broadcasted “Shark Tank” show.  Bays reached out to the real “Sharks”, and Mark Cuban responded that unfortunately he was unable to attend, but loved the idea!


MVCSC Superintendent Dr. Robbins states, “It is perfect timing that we are able to demonstrate to State Superintendent Ritz the inventive entrepreneurism that is nourished in our elementary students.  Both McCordsville Elementary and the Mt. Vernon Middle School are looking forward to hosting Superintendent Ritz and showcasing some of our capstone activities for those schools.  We are honored she will be visiting our schools and be able to witness some of the learning initiatives in our blended educational environment.”


Superintendent Ritz will be visiting Mt. Vernon Middle School after McCordsville Elementary to see a video of the 8th grade “Walk on Water” science experiment which occurs the day before.  “Walk on Water” is a similar group project where students produce “walking floating devices” that allow one student to “walk” across the pool.  After the video, Ritz will then visit an area where students will fire their handmade trebuchets to demonstrate additional science lessons learned.


MVCSC is looking forward to hosting State Superintendent Ritz and showing her our exceptional students, staff, facilities, programs and initiatives.  The media is invited to attend the McCordsville Shark Tank presentation with State Superintendent Glenda Ritz as well as the Mt. Vernon Middle School reception/demonstration.

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