Barrington High students showcase innovation, entrepreneurship

  • Barrington High School senior Jenny Deering created Fearless Floss, which she hopes entices children to floss more often. She displayed the business idea Tuesday during the school's innovation showcase.

      Barrington High School senior Jenny Deering created Fearless Floss, which she hopes entices children to floss more often. She displayed the business idea Tuesday during the school's innovation showcase. Bob Susnjara | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington High School senior Zachary Stryczek with the "Testudo" mobile app game he's working on with two other students. He was part of the school's innovation showcase Tuesday night.

      Barrington High School senior Zachary Stryczek with the "Testudo" mobile app game he's working on with two other students. He was part of the school's innovation showcase Tuesday night. Bob Susnjara | Staff Photographer

  • This is the "Shack Stack" game available as a free download in Apple's mobile app store. It was created by Barrington High School students Zachary Stryczek, Ryan Yala and George O'Brien and was on display at Tuesday's innovation showcase.

      This is the "Shack Stack" game available as a free download in Apple's mobile app store. It was created by Barrington High School students Zachary Stryczek, Ryan Yala and George O'Brien and was on display at Tuesday's innovation showcase. Bob Susnjara | Staff Photographer

  • Students gather on an auditorium stage Tuesday night after Barrington High School's annual business incubator pitch night modeled on ABC's "Shark Tank."

    Students gather on an auditorium stage Tuesday night after Barrington High School's annual business incubator pitch night modeled on ABC's "Shark Tank." Courtesy of Barrington Area Unit School District 220

 
 
Posted5/25/2017 5:30 AM

Barrington High School isn't hurting for business ideas from students.

Projects from the school's engineering and mobile apps programs were on display at the inaugural innovation showcase Tuesday night that preceded the popular business incubator pitch night modeled on ABC's "Shark Tank."

 

"As a high school, our students are used to having fans at the basketball game or fans at the football game," Principal Stephen McWilliams said before the four business incubator finalists competed in the school's auditorium. "Certainly, the presentations here on the main stage, the musicals, fall and spring events, our concerts. But it's not too often that our students have an audience where they get an opportunity to show off what they're doing in the classroom."

A five-student team that created Tilt Factor was named the winner of $16,000 in startup funding from the private Barrington 220 Educational Foundation. Tilt Factor is a self-tilting stand that automatically shifts a water cooler when the liquid level falls below the spout line.

Five students who came up with Radd Tees will get $10,000 in seed money. Their company highlights student art on T-shirts, with a portion of sales diverted to the artists and school art departments.

Barrington High's first innovation showcase set the tone for the evening, with a three-piece band playing near the main entrance and a light-food spread for visitors and participants.

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Jenny Deering, a Barrington High School senior, created Fearless Floss through the school's Project Lead the Way program. She showed a prototype of her product at the high school's innovation showcase Tuesday.
  Jenny Deering, a Barrington High School senior, created Fearless Floss through the school's Project Lead the Way program. She showed a prototype of her product at the high school's innovation showcase Tuesday. - Bob Susnjara | Staff Photographer

Senior Jenny Deering worked a table during the innovation showcase for her creation of Fearless Floss, targeted to children 6 to 13 years old. The idea stems from her participation in Project Lead The Way, which provides pathways in computer science, engineering and biomedical science while engaging students in hands-on activities, projects and problems.

Deering identified a problem by using statistics from a Delta Dental of Illinois children's oral health survey showing 44 percent never floss. To improve children's dental hygiene, she created a small plastic box and a spool of floss inside.

Saying kids need incentives for something such as daily flossing, she added a marketing touch to her would-be online business. Every three purchases of a floss spool would make a customer eligible to redeem an award of a collectible charm award.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"The idea is that kids will be able to collect all these different charms and personalize it to have their own box that's uniquely them," she said.

On the mobile app side, there were 29 creations displayed on tables in a hallway. Among the offerings was the race game "Testudo" created by seniors George O'Brien, Ryan Yala and Zachary Stryczek.

"There's two beams that come out," Stryczek said in demonstrating the game. "You have to tap faster than the opponent. Whoever gets the most taps wins the game."

Stryczek, Yala and O'Brien already have gotten placement in Apple's mobile app store for their games "Shack Stack," "Makin' Bacon!" and "Overtap."

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