McHenry High School INCubatoredu students unveil five projects to the business community

A device to extend a school desk and an app to help busy professionals get dressed in the morning are two of five projects under development by students in the McHenry High School INCubatoredu program.

Five teams of students are fine-tuning their projects after making the end-of-the-semester presentation to local business leaders. The other projects are a friendship app, a device to keep car doors under control, and a specialty automotive service for Japanese Domestic Market vehicles.

The end-of-the-semester pitches in December allowed students to unveil their ideas and get feedback from professionals.

“They have come a long way since day one,” said Tim Kirk, McHenry High School INCubatoredu teacher.

Students make their final pitches May 4, and one team will be selected to participate in a countywide event hosted later in May at McHenry County College.

Kirk said the countywide event is new, and will feature teams from 11 McHenry County high schools. The idea came from a summer conference of INCubatoredu instructors, Kirk said.

In the meantime, local business leaders gave MCHS students lots of tips to help them further refine their projects. Projects are:

Alpha: A light aluminum extender for a school desk so students can work with Chromebooks and notebooks at the same time;

My Closet: An app to organize wardrobes and help the user decide what to wear each day;

Door Defense: A device that can be installed on automobiles to prevent doors swinging open and hitting other cars as well as prevent doors closing on people;

Linked: An app to connect high school students with other high school students who share likes and interests;

Neptune's Performance: A business to provide service and customization to high-end Japanese Domestic Market vehicles.

Jeff Batt, president of McHenry Financial and one of the evaluators, said he's pleased to see the students learning important skills that they'll need to succeed in the business, such as making presentations and researching accurate cost projections.

“These are the kind of skills we don't always see in the working world,” said Batt, who also advises for the Johnsburg High School INCubatoredu program. “They have good ideas.”

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