Every team delivered a complete presentation about their ad campaigns that was well thought out, mature, professional and innovative. In fact, the judges at the end had a heated debate over the best team. Project ideas included: Foshay Buddies - an app to pair up upperclassmen with middle school students who needed a friend; Foshay Calendar - an app to better the school calendar to keep people informed; Shake a Goal - an app that puts a fun spin on a to-do list to help fight procrastination; Speak it Out - a game and tips to help students gain confidence in their public speaking; Project: CleanUp - a social media game to encourage students to clean up the trash in their school and Inner Beauty - an app with motivational tutorials and tips to help people build their confidence and feel beautiful.
The judges debated the winners. They had rubrics for scoring but did not want to reward based on sheer points. The judges advocated to vote on passion since that is what really happens in the world of advertising. Metrics are great but they wanted to address the feelings as well. They were torn between the Foshay Calendar team and Foshay Buddies.
The Calendar team realized the school had an underused tool and they took the initiative to create a system for more people to add items to the calendar and then held a marketing event in addition to launching a social media campaign and designing posters with the QR code to the calendar website to get people to know about the calendar and begin using it. The judges at Ignited were impressed with the outcome and amazed that the team included metrics about the results before and after their campaign about teachers and students using the calendar. The issue the judges had with the presentation was that there was no emotional connection stirred when it came to the calendar.
On the other hand, Foshay Buddies stole their heart and as a result won them over. The premise of the Foshay Buddy team was that there are too many students at our school who need a positive role model in their lives. The team collected names and turned it into the dean’s office and counselors so there is now a list of students that can be called upon to be a buddy for students struggling to connect and feel safe and supported on campus. At the presentation the team used the buddy wheel they invented to get unknown pairs to team up and do an activity to help form a common experience.
This was a lesson in how the “smartest” or those that “best play by the rules” don’t always win, personality and heart count for a lot. At the end the students reflected back to the reason why networking, and smiling is so important. People respond often with their feelings not with straight up data. The judges also respected that instead of doing an anti-bullying campaign the Buddies team created a positive proactive approach to respond to people who are hurting.
After the presentations and awards the students shared what they gained from the experience. Student after student stood to say that they had joined the Tech Academy to learn some computer skills - maybe program something and design a website. Then they ALL said that what they gained in addition to technical skills was confidence in themselves and learning to trust others. By being a cohort for three years they gained a family and a place that was theirs on campus. One student who was polite and quiet for two years said that he found his voice this year as a result of the academy and this project.
Click here to see the videos of student reflections::
I can only say that my group did so well and beyond our original plan. My group spoke with confidence and went with the flow to make our judges understand and we ended as runners-up. Our Foshay Calendar will always be used. I have learned a lot on this project. This project covered the whole school wide learning goals. It was the best experience I have ever had in the Tech Academy and I am so proud of every single team and my partners who worked so hard in this project."Hard work pays off" as they say.
Darwin: I will promote myself by listing the problem we addressed, what we did to try to solve the problem, and the steps we took to organize the social media campaign and the event. The biggest takeaway from this experience was how to work efficiently with other people. - Darwin
I felt that we did better than we thought it was going to be because we were more confident. I will use this by explaining what I did in my group and overall what we did to make our campaign successful. I learned that in order for us to be successful we had to work together even though we had our own individual jobs and learned that this connects to the real life.