Back to the Tank

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Seventh graders in Dean Bourazeris’ social studies classes combined their knowledge of the past and power of persuasion on April 29 and 30, when they pitched historical inventions in a “Shark Tank” style format.

Student groups selected and researched historical innovations such as the cotton gin, the telegraph, the steam engine, the Erie Canal and the National Turnpike. They delivered presentations that conveyed the creations as new products, in hopes of catching the interests of peers and Mr. Bourazeris – the event’s investors. Groups used informational slides and constructed replicas of their inventions to bring a full business proposal to their audience members.  

Following the presentations, Mr. Bourazeris and the audience filled out evaluation and peer feedback forms on Google Chromebooks to offer glow and grow moments for each group. Students also filled out questionnaires in which they described what they learned about each invention, expressed whether or not they would they invest in it and ranked its historical significance.

“The students made compelling presentations and pitches about the significance of their historical products,” said Mr. Bourazeris. “They used the fun of the pitch while also helping to educate their peers on important history.”