Business Innovations guides young entrepreneurs

Creative inventions assist community


Ayelet Prottas

Principal LaNisha Paddock talks to business innovations students during press day April 10. Business innovations is a business elective open to all students.

Abby Bartleson and Katie Nelson

From tote bags to car washes for students, Business Innovations classes have been busy crafting products this past school year. According to business teacher Abby Lugo, the class is very independent and teaches important lessons. 

“In Business Innovations it’s a great introductory way of learning that entrepreneurship model. Kids come in thinking that running a business is something really easy to do, so it’s all about the trials and mistakes and successes of running a business and even friends that they discover along the way,” Lugo said.

The students are in full control of their business, with Lugo remaining as primarily a facilitator. A unique side of the class is that any money profited goes directly into the pockets of the students. 

Sophomore Zoie Okerman, whose group designed customized phone chargers, said one of the more challenging aspects of the project was deciding what their project would be. 

“The biggest challenge was coming up with the idea and going back and forth between options. Our group was having a hard time deciding what the best thing would solve in our school,” Okerman said. 

Instead of choosing to keep their group’s invention exclusive to Park students, freshman Micah Schoenberger was inspired by grandparents and the importance of staying active. Schoenberger’s group decided to create “Pactivity,” an activity box designed for senior citizens which features Sudoku puzzles, Play-Doh, coloring sheets and exercises as well as many other activities. 

“We have some older grandparents who unfortunately can’t get outside to do activities, so we decided to put together an organized activity box for seniors,” Schoenberger said. “Right now we’re in contact with some assisted living places, our goal is to make it more convenient for people to stay active.”

With the weather warming up and the melted snow leaving slush, senior Marcus Hosfield said his group’s idea became clear when it got muddy and their cars were left dirty. Their group decided to wash students’ cars during 3rd hour starting at $5.

“Coming out of winter and the weather is warming up, it’s really muddy out and it’s nice to have a presentable car. We thought this was a pretty good idea,” Hosfield said. “It’s easy and accessible, it’s at school, you can come to school and then with a dirty car and come out of school with a clean one.”

Many different skills are learned while creating a business, for sophomore Anisa Farah and her group, they experienced a lot of trial and error while producing their tote bags.

“We ordered the totes and then when they came in, we had to figure out what type of transfer we wanted to do and what materials we wanted to use,” Farah said. “We found a machine that prints and cuts out the designs onto stickers and we heat transfer it, it took multiple times to get it right.

Sophomore Landyn Tasto and junior Clark Brousseau said their business sparked from personal experience.

“People lose golf balls on the course all the time and you need to have some so that you can play. I golf a lot so I had many golf balls laying around,” Tasto said. 

To support these small businesses, look for business flyers around school and groups selling their products during lunches or reach out Mrs. Lugo.