Getting a head start in business, third and fifth grade Gifted and Talented students from Stuart Place Elementary participated in the Guppy Tank Business Contest hosted by Watermill Express.
The contest began in March and students from Roma to Brownsville, between 8 and 13-years-old, were encouraged to take part in this event.
In this competition, students had to conduct research and come up with a business plan for a chance to be selected as one of the five finalists to present their ideas to a group of local business professionals in the McAllen area.
Hortencia Juarez, Gifted and Talented teacher from Stuart Place Elementary first heard about the Guppy Tank Event from her school principal, who recommended the contest for her students.
“Mr. Snavely thought it would be a great idea for our GT Ivy Project students to participate in this and I realized that it would provide students with a real-life type project,” said Juarez. “By participating in these contests students not only benefit from the work they have to complete, but they feel a sense of excitement because they get to compete with students from other cities and communities.”
Finalists were announced in May. Four out of the five ideas chosen to be presented to the panel of judges came from Harlingen CISD students in Juarez’ GT classes.
With the focus of making the Rio Grande Valley a better place to live, these future entrepreneurs got to work and created different business projects.
Fifth-grader, Isabella Garcia worked independently on a project called Kids Live. Her project aims to promote healthy living for children.
“I know that sometimes I just sit on the couch all day,” said Garcia. “So I hope my project gets kids more active and prevents them from becoming couch potatoes.”
Cristian Rivera, a fifth-grader, also chose to work individually. His project is called Just Imagine. It focuses on Lego block building and recycling.
“It will basically be an area in which kids can come with their spare Lego pieces and combine them in order to make something new,” said Rivera. “I thought about how I didn’t have much time and space to play with my Legos and then it came to me that I could make an area for kids to enjoy their Legos.”
Fifth-graders, Kendra Hernandez and Madison Meyers chose to work on a project involving fashion together. They created an idea called U B Unique.
“Our project is about upcycling used clothes and turning them into something new so that old clothes won’t fill up our landfills,” said Hernandez. “We wear the same clothes every day, why don’t we just change it up a bit?”
David Ramos, Karla Rivera & Sidni Wentz, who are in third grade, also worked as a team. Their idea is called Robotic Future and focuses on homework help.
“Sometimes your parents are too tired and can’t help you with homework, so we thought why can’t something else help you,” said Rivera. “We thought about a robot.”
“We will create a website with different school subjects and you can choose what you need help with. You will be able to buy and download the subjects onto your robot,” says group partner Ramos.
While working on these projects students were also creating a future business venture for themselves. The Guppy Tank finalists will receive cash prices to start their own small businesses. Reward amounts will vary depending on results of the final project presentations took place on June 17.
“I feel that businesses such as Watermill Express provide a great service to education in our schools,” said Juarez. “I’m proud of these students for their accomplishments as well as those students that participated and completed their projects.”
This event also benefits Make a Wish Foundation with monetary donations for every business plan that was submitted.
For more information on the Guppy Tank Business Contest click here.