Student Inventions Face Evaluation in the Shark Tank

This week, my students will be presenting their inventions to an audience of parents and community members. Instead of doing a traditional exhibition, where students stand for an hour and answer questions next to their display, we are doing something different: A Year 5 Shark Tank.

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Many of us already know the reality show, “Shark Tank”, that has celebrity entrepreneurs deciding on potential investments from wannabe inventors. The intrigue of the show is found in the neat and sometimes quirky innovations that come from these novice presenters mixed with the pressure that is put on them by the judges, or “the Sharks”. A similar scenario is going to take place at our PYP school for the students’ summative assessment.

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As students have gotten to work on their inventions, there have been some beautiful learning experiences, including:

Math Skills – Adding cost of materials and cost of labor (based on a agreed upon minimum wage) and subtracting from retail price to determine profit. Also, creating surveys and graphs to gauge interest in the product.

Presentation Skills – Creating a presentation with certain criteria made by students, using Keynote slides with interactive features so that visitors can pick the questions that are relevant to them as they come to the invention convention.

design cycle

Design Thinking – Students followed the design cycle of “Investigate – Plan – Create – Evaluate” to ensure that their product turned out how they envisioned it. Many students also wanted to create a beta version of an app that would go along with their invention, so we found ways to do an interactive mock up for these as well. Students really got into the spirit of collaboration and design thinking throughout the unit.


At the end of the Shark Tank, some community “Sharks” will decide on the invention that would make the world of work and leisure easier. I’m trying make sure that this small piece of competition does not get in the way of the important part – the process of design. It is merely a formality that frames the whole unit and ends with a bang!

What do you think? Check out the flyer for the event below, and be sure to comment!

– Zach Groshell @MrZachG

However, that being said, it is becoming increasingly obvious that our world is developing an unhealthy attachment to it. (1)

2 thoughts on “Student Inventions Face Evaluation in the Shark Tank

  1. Norah says:

    This looks to be an interesting process which gives more meaning and enjoyment to the students. It also provides an extra window onto the children’s work for the parents. I look forward to hearing about the day.

    Liked by 1 person

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