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Budding Entrepreneurs Attend Summer Camp at Bridge Street Middle School

Photo by Joselyn King Seventh-grade student Nathan Lamagna of Triadelphia Middle School presents a “Storage Sphere” product he created this week during a summer camp for young entrepreneurs this week at Bridge Street Middle School.

WHEELING — Some youths look at a round ball and see summer recreation opportunities. Others see a hollow interior and the opportunity to market it for storage.

Middle School students this week in Ohio County were invited to participate in a special topic summer camp at Bridge Street Middle School, during which they got to exercise their creative and business skills.

At the first day of camp on Wednesday, they were asked to think of a product to create and market. They would have to create a short video commercial to go along with it, as well as flyers, business cards and a logo to put on them.

On Friday afternoon — two days later — they presented their products and marketing tools to visitors who came to view them.

Triadelphia Middle School seventh grade students Alex Zhao, left, and Nathan Lamagna offered a “Storage Sphere” product they billed as a “ball for all.”

“The balls were hollow, and we just thought they could be used for storage,” Lamagna explained.

They showed it was just the perfect place for putting stickers or jewelry.

Seventh grade fashionistas Juniper Gandee of Triadelphia Middle School and Emma Hyde of Bridge Street Middle School called their start-up business “Simply Modern.” They created custom earrings and t-shirts to sell, and they plan to donate 20% of any profits to juvenile diabetes charities.

“We both love arts and crafts and things like making T-shirts,” Gandee said.

Hyde showed off the earrings, which came in the shapes of pop bottles and lollipops.

“I just like to give things to people to make them smile,” she said.

Designs on the t-shirts were printed with the help of a Cricut printer found in the school’s maker space.

Rex Montayne, a sixth-grade student at Triadelphia Middle School, explained he, his brother Cole and their friend Isaak Mizami decided to address a need for water bottles at the school. They used the Cricut printer to put designs on plastic bottles, and they intend to distribute them to students who might need them.

JoJo Shay, innovation coordinator for Ohio County Schools, said the students this week used many of the technological tools now available to them in the school — including not just the Cricut printer but Chromebooks and video production skills learned earlier in audio/visual camp.

Triadelphia Middle School media teacher Amber Bishop oversaw the class, and said she didn’t know what to expect from the students.

“I was so impressed,” she said. “They had two and a half days to build something from scratch. They were told to think of a product, then conceptualize how it would be marketed. … And they were so enthusiastic about it.”

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