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‘Dream Up’: CO high school students are taught through a game how to pitch a business

(Update: Adding video, comments by Innovation Co-Lab director, students)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Several Central Oregon high school students came together Thursday morning for a chance to pitch an idea about an online game.

Katie Krummeck of Portland, Aga Khan Foundation’s Global Innovation & Design Advisor, and her colleagues have created a game called Dream Up, and the students were invited to pitch business ideas around the game, which aims to identify and solve real-world problems through creativity and collaboration.

This project is a partnership between I4Education, the innovation arm of the High Desert Education Service District, OSU-Cascades Innovation Co-Lab, Krummeck and her colleagues and involves the Central Oregon STEM Hub (which is also part of HDESD).

The executive director of the OSU-Cascades Innovation Co-Lab, Adam Krynicki, talked about what the students are learning.

"The High Desert Education Service District, the Central Oregon STEM Hub and the OSU-Cascades Co-Lab wanted to train these students on how to innovate," Krynicki said. "What we did through this activity is taught them about design thinking. We also taught them how to pitch a business and how to create one. So it was a really great opportunity, and they only did this in about two weeks."

For the game, interns were separated into two teams, then had to pick a challenge. An example of a challenge would be: Dream up a better way to deal with leftovers. The goal is that your team will dream up a solution for the other team. 

Liam Schmitt, one of the STEM Pathways interns, said, "A smell machine that one group would come up with, then we turned it into a gag gift where you put bad scents into colognes. We went from that into a 'smell machine' that produces smells from restaurants, to gain more traction to the restaurant, because people smell it and want to come to the restaurant." 

Other STEM Pathway interns explained what they learned from working on this pitch. 

Mya Oakes said, "Researching some things was a little difficult, and finding sources for some of the things we pitched. But for the most part, it was pretty easy, because we had all the information and we ran through the game a few times." 

Ximena Lara said, "Dream Up has taught me how to market our own product. We've also learned that, kind of that no idea is too crazy to be a product -- to be like an actual idea."

Zachary Dinsmore said, "We've gotten all sorts of things about learning how to pitch stuff. That entire slide show was designed by us, and we're learning how to pitch things. We've also designed a lot of branding." 

Article Topic Follows: Education

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Kelsey McGee

Kelsey McGee is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Kelsey here.


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