Summer break for some middle schoolers might include video games and too much TV, but for 34 of Buffalo’s brightest pre-teens, it meant becoming entrepreneurs.
This past August, students representing six Boys & Girls Clubs in Buffalo showcased the final results of their four-week-long innovation projects at the fourth annual Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) Fair, hosted at the Atrium @ Rich’s.
In preparation for the competition, the clubhouses were teamed up with a dozen mentors from Rich’s who helped the students brainstorm ideas, develop marketing campaigns and create prototypes for their fictional products.
At the end of the day, the team from the Masten Boys & Girls Club took home top honors for their Oven Lunchbox, which is intended to create a safe and easy way for kids to heat up their food at school. These inspiring innovators earned a Rampage Classic arcade game for their clubhouse. Other impressive project ideas included:
- Muscle Memory in Basketball, by Eggertsville Boys & Girls Club. Intent: An invention that enhances shooting form and likelihood of shots made by a player.
- 4Eyes, by William C. Baird Boys & Girls Club. Intent: “Pair of glasses that record visual and audio for your leisure or emergency situations.
- Digital Desktop, by Butler Mitchell Boys & Girls Club. Intent: A desk with a built-in computer screen to rid the need for materials in the classroom and keep track of students’ work.
- Fire Extinguisher Grenade, by Babcock Boys & Girls Club. Intent: A safer option to putting out house fires.
- Stress Relieving Virtual Reality Headset, by John F. Beecher Boys & Girls Club. Intent: A VR headset designed to reduce stress.
“Research shows that exposure to a STEAM curriculum is critical for well-rounded student development,” said Howard Rich. “This competition creates a dynamic, hands-on, and we hope memorable, learning experience for our area’s youth over the summer. Being able to engage with and mentor these budding entrepreneurs is just one way we can give back to the communities where we live and work.”