START-UP PITCHING AT SHARK TANK SPECIAL VERSION WITH G6 DEWEY STUDENTS
“I’m seeking 1 VND million for 50% of stake for the “Cat Scratcher” so that we can better invest in the product that sharks are seeing here.”
In front of teachers and the two parents as investors, Thien An – a 6Toronto student boldly explained about the cat scratcher project, then seek a million dong.
“Novel learning method,” “learning through life experiences,” and “stimulating creativity and breakthroughs for students” were phrases that teachers and parents talked about in the “Cat Scratcher” project of the G6 Dewey student (Cau Giay campus) in the MDE (Maker – Design – Engineering) subject that was integrated from Mount Vernon School (rated in the US top 10 for most innovative schools in 2017).
The project was implemented by students in 4 weeks through the steps of raising ideas, dividing groups to develop an implementation plan, and pitching the product for investment from “Sharks.” To make design thinking more practical, TDSers has turned drawings on paper into real products with practicality. During the project implementation, teachers always supported and gave students counsel when needed. Students were centered and challenged with questions, so their brains were always “active” to find answers. The knowledge from hands-on experience, trials, and mistakes provided students with a solid foundation. At each stage of the implementation process, students listened to the presentations of other groups and gave feedback in a 1:1:1 model. This is what we call the three-step feedback method of giving compliments, asking questions, and making constructive comments. Besides the design thinking orientation, the 1:1:1 model is an element of the MDE educational method.
After pitching the products in front of the class, the groups called for investment. Two parents as investors would propose questions and ask students for clarifications about the products, design purposes, and their reasons for product detail arrangement and the feasibility of the products. “Our group hopes to bring this product into real life and change the material from carton to wood,” said a member, and then this group successfully called for 1 VND million (30% of 3 million) from investors.
After the project, the biggest achievement that students reaped from the project was the knowledge gained through practical work. Students learned how to coordinate better while working in groups, confidently express their thoughts and gain more experience through objective arguments.