By JEREMY APPEL on April 16, 2019.
Grade 10 students at Crescent Heights High School pitched business ideas they’ve been working on all semester to a panel of judges Monday.
Teacher Jade Monette says the project was part of the “LIFE” (Lessons in Future Experience) class she created last year, which in the first half teaches students entrepreneurship and in the second half, various valuable life skills.
Last year, her class came up with a single, unified business pitch – a campus coffee shop, which is still up and running.
This year was more ambitious, as the class broke up into five groups and each group pitched their own business idea, which Monette helped them refine throughout the course of the class, along with Medicine Hat College’s Enactus.
“It’s important for kids to learn about any life skill that they can take forward after graduation or during high school,” said Monette.
“They’re dealing with budgeting and money, and even running the coffee shop, they’re dealing with customers … They’re handling money and I think wherever they go after high school they’re going to need some of those skills.”
Some of the students did the project as a class requirement, while others sought to make their business idea a reality, she added.
One such student was Evan Cochran, whose group made Medicine Hat-branded clothing – hats, sweatshirts and hoodies with a logo they designed featuring the words ‘The Hat’ and two diagonal lines crossing to represent the Saamis Tepee.
“It’s simple but it works,” said Cochran.
The initial plan was to just sell the clothing at Crescent Heights, but then the group thought “we can maybe get it out there.”
In addition to selling the product, Cochran said they plan to give some clothing items to the homeless and women’s shelter.
With summer approaching, the students intend on making more products, such as shorts and T-shirts, to add to their inventory.
Another pitch was for Crescent Heights-branded shower shoes, also known as “slips.”
Conner William Paya says they originally wanted to brand root beer, but that hit a road block, since schools are discouraging soda consumption.
“What’s something we all wear?” he remembers them thinking when they returned to the drawing board.
“It’s a very popular thing to see people in the school wear socks and slides. It has a different look to it.”
Maddie Rossignol’s group decided to promote mental health awareness with their product – silicon bracelets with the phone number for a crisis hotline or website.
“Personally, I struggle from mental health (issues),” she said. “When we were handed the assignment, we were to think of a problem that could be fixed with a product.”
Originally, their plan was to sell watches, but this would put them in competition with massive companies, like Apple and Samsung, so they opted to go with wristbands.
“We figured with wristbands, it’s more of a private thing,” said Rossignol. “Not a lot of people want everybody to know that they struggle (with) mental health.”
She said they plan to sell the bracelets for $5-10 at school and then see where that takes them.
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