McCordsville Elementary School (MES) fourth grade students participated in the annual “Shark Tank” project. Students had to use their knowledge of the scientific method, persuasive writing, and presentation skills to develop a business as an entrepreneur. Finalists for the project presented their inventions in front of their peers, Superintendent Dr. Jack Parker, Principal Stephanie Miller, and the “Sharks,” who were their fourth grade teachers posing as famous band members. This year’s inventions included “Spros,” a backpack that is useful for all types of sports; “Flipsides,” double sided pillowcases; “Happy and Healthy,” a delicious and nutritious popsicle; “Cup-A-Desk,” a magnetic cup-holder that prevents spills; and finally “Flexi Mats,” a gymnastics mat that doubles as a chair.
The hands-on economic and entrepreneurship project is named after the television show “Shark Tank.” There are 63 state standards covered throughout the hands on project. Lessons in science, social studies (history of Indiana business), reading, language, math (real-world problems) and persuasive writing are a few of the featured standards. Students are likely unaware of all the learning factors and personal growth they achieved while completing this project. "Shark Tank" is a prime example of project based learning: a teaching method where students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time on a complex problem or challenge.
Through their "Shark Tank" project, students have to demonstrate the skills of developing a business as an entrepreneur. The student groups 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 also spent a great deal of time researching the cost of materials and competitors.
As part of the Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation (MVCSC) 1:1 technology environment, students also created an iMovie promotional video as part of their presentations.
The fourth grade teachers enjoyed transforming into sharks and their characters and the students loved sharing their creative inventions with their peers. Congrats to all the very inventive ideas!