Press Release: success for BHS students
Four BHS students were recently selected as global finalists in the DECA Idea Challenge. This year’s competition was the biggest yet, with 2,255 submissions from around the world. BHS entered twelve teams and the finalists were the winning team in Bermuda, and one of only six teams to be named finalists in the Middle School Division.
DECA is a not-for-profit student organisation with more than 215,000 members around the world. The DECA Idea Challenge is a fast-paced learning activity that challenges students to find an innovative use for a commonplace item. A premier event of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), the event challenges elementary through university students to tap into their creativity and generate a new use for an everyday object — this year it was rubber bands. GEW is the world’s largest celebration of innovators and job creators who launch start-ups that bring ideas to life. GEW is a platform for connection and collaboration, engaging all players along the entrepreneurship spectrum in strengthening ecosystems around the world.
Students were given 8 days to come up with their idea and produce a video explaining their idea. Teams were evaluated on the video pitch of their new invention. Team 4RJE made up of Y9 students Jada Davis, Salayah Stange, Yvé Smith and Jerzi Trott-Riley were selected for their shelter design, along with finalists from Canada, Saint Lucia, The United Arab Emirates, the UK and the US. The girls designed a prototype for a waterproof insulated shelter, which would help keep homeless people dry and warm. The students demonstrated innovation, creativity, communication skills, teamwork, leadership and enterprise.
When asked about their experience, Yvé Smith said, “My DECA experience helped me become a more innovative thinker and my teamwork skills to flourish.” Jada Davis remarked that while finding the time to complete the project with the short amount of time given was a challenge, “The experience taught me to think outside of the box using everyday objects.” When asked how they came up with the idea, Jerzi Trott-Reiley explained, “We discovered that homelessness is one of the top issues worldwide and so we decided to try and create something portable to help people in this situation.” The four girls had to work as a team and divide the responsibilities, and Salaya Stange took on the role of video editor. She said the experience, “strengthened my problem solving skills and made me a much better communicator.”
This is the second year in a row BHS has participated in the DECA Challenge, and last year there were two BHS teams that made it into the finals. The competition is a fun way for students to be imaginative and resourceful while learning about the entrepreneurial process. It promotes idea generation, creativity, communication skills, technical skills and teamwork.