Local middle school hops into the shark tank - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Local middle school hops into the shark tank

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Eau Claire (WQOW)- A group of local middle school students took off their shoes and jumped into the shark tank Wednesday.  Students at Delong Middle School participated in their own version of the popular ABC show, pitching business ideas as part of a class project.

Shark Tank is becoming so popular it's being duplicated in a local school.

Welcome to Delong Middle School in Eau Claire.  Students are acting out their own version of the show in class: stepping into the murky waters with their own sharks.

"They have a business plan they've designed with some marketing and a floor plan of a teen club and they have to present it to the sharks and they have to ask the sharks for a certain amount of money and they have to justify why they need that much money," explains Social Studies Teacher Jennifer Birkholz.

Delong Middle School says PowerPoints and lectures work well, but activities like this one can be even more beneficial.

"I liked this a lot better because then we figured out how hard it actually is to start a business and we weren't even doing it for real," says Jenna Luginbill, a 7th grader at Delong.

"I think being hands-on, you retain it a lot more and it gives you a unique perspective and you look at business in a little different light when you have to look at all the details," points out Junior Achievement Director Susan Effinger.

25 groups pitched stories on Wednesday. The presentations included blueprints, business cards and even commercials.  And just like the show, the groups take on questions from the sharks.

The words "I'm out" were never mentioned as students were graded on their pitches.  But one thing is for sure.  Delong says it's all in for next year.

"So far, it's gone really well," Birkholz explains.  "So we will just sit down and reflect and make some changes and then we'll do the same thing next year."

Birkholz says she was surprised by all the technology students used in their presentations.  Some put their blueprints online, made Facebook pages for their projects, and even made their own websites.

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