A group of Montgomery public school students recently stepped up to pitch their innovative ideas, with some real money on the table to make the winning proposal a reality.
Twelve teams from Halcyon Elementary School participated in the inaugural School Pitch competition – “If It Is To Be … It Begins With Me!” The pitch event was a partnership between MGMWERX, which is the innovation hub of Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base, and Alabama Power.
With support from teacher-facilitators, the students pitched a variety of creative ideas, including a recycling program, a cultural diversity book club and an outdoor learning space.
In the end, a selection panel awarded $5,000 to the team “Halcyon Coding Corporation” for its proposal to upgrade the school’s robotics program and lab. The money will be used to support the upgrade.
“What an awesome way to let our students shine and show their creativity and teamwork, along with many other skills,” said Christopher Tsuing, Halcyon Elementary’s technology teacher and winning facilitator.
Another team, the Environmental Friendly Action Plan (EFAB) Club, so impressed the judges that they also were awarded $5,000. Students from both teams received Quest 2 Oculus headsets as a surprise gift. All participating students received a medal and certificate of appreciation.
“This was a fantastic event. We are honored to offer this type of competition and learning experience to Montgomery Public School elementary students,” said Trent H. Edwards, MGMWERX director.
“These 10- to 12-year-olds learned how to present a problem statement, provide compelling data, offer a solution, present a budget and request funding. They were amazing and we are proud of them and grateful to Halcyon Elementary for investing in our children’s future,” Edwards said.
“Alabama Power was proud to partner with MGMWERX to bring a pitch competition to the elementary school level,” said Leslie Sanders, vice president of Alabama Power’s Southern Division. “The ideas pitched were great and we should always be encouraging of children finding solutions to problems. Their perspective was refreshing.”
MGMWERX is Air University’s innovation and collaboration hub, hosting government-to-government and government-to-industry collaboration and assessment events. The goal, according to the organization, is to enhance Air University’s education mission by seeking novel concepts, ideas and technology across academia, nontraditional businesses, and the public and private sectors.
Last month, MGMWERX held a pitch competition for the 42nd Air Base Wing at Maxwell, in which members of the military pitched their ideas to the wing commander. To learn more about MGMWERX, visit mgmwerx.org.