Gering and Scottsbluff HAL students work together to pitch business ideas | News


On Monday March 7, a group of Gering students put on their thinking hats for an entrepreneurial adventure.

Nebraska Extension Educators brought their Inventure Day program to Gering High School and encouraged High Potential Learners (HAL) from Gering Junior High and Scottsbluff Middle School to think creatively about starting a business.

Angela Morris, HAL coordinator for Gering Public Schools, said this is the first year they’ve brought the program to Gering and also the first time Scottsbluff middle schoolers have joined. The activity is designed to foster creativity and provide students with a better understanding of starting a business. Morris explained that there were more than 120 HAL students from the schools combined, and the children were intentionally mixed together to encourage them to learn how to work with people they may have just met.

Students were divided into teams and asked to develop a product inspired by an unusual widget. Sydney extension educator Laura Narjes explained that pupils were first given a random widget or object to give them inspiration. They develop a product for their company based on this inspiration.

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“The widget they’re using today is actually an egg turner,” Narjes said. “An egg turner is used in an incubator to make it easier to turn eggs so you don’t have to manually move them every day. They are actually 3D printed so we can mass produce them quite easily.

Many students were seeing an egg turner for the first time.

The high school gymnasium was set up with tables where each team of six to seven children could begin their creative process. Although many students were seeing an egg turner for the first time, ideas began to flow quickly.

Narjes said that once teams decide on a product, they go through different factory stations to find out their next steps in terms of funding, branding and target markets.

“They learn about financing,” she explained. “Things to think about with financing (are) how much is it going to cost to make your product, what materials are you going to use, how much are you going to charge for your product, what kind of margin do you need to be able to have a profit at the end of the day.

The groups learned about branding, creating their own brand and logo for their business. They were encouraged to keep it simple, making sure it was easy to pronounce and even check that it translated well into another language. Extension educators also teach children about target markets and different ways to market their product.

At the end of the day, the teams participated in a Quick Pitch Competition and presented their business plan. The judges were Julie Siebke, Laura Narjes, Byron Olsen and Nathan Rice.

“It sounds a lot like ‘Shark Tank’,” Narjes said. “We are happy to offer them if they win from their judges. Students choose their favorite too, and we have fun little gifts for those students too. »

The winning business ideas and team members were:

– Dooder Shooter: Hope Mitchell, Eain Peterson, Rachel Boyd, Natalie Larsen, Landon Heine, Breianna Bauer.

– AimBot: Nyah Bruner, Libby Baum, Cara Schothauer, Carter Lathrop.

– Best Loop: Chase Cline, Copper Robbins, Abigail Hecheroth, Joel Ramierez, Alex Sabala, Allison Baer.

– APT table: Aurora Harkins, Kolin Harmon, Chase Asselin, Jacey Cochran, Parker Marlow, Reece Knight, Alexis Gonzalez-Saldana.

Nicole Heldt is a reporter for the Star-Herald and covers agriculture. She can be reached at 308-632-9044 or by email at

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