Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 03-28-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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6 IN OUR SCHOOLS MARCH 28-APRIL 3, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | SMITHFIELD SCITUATE FOSTER GLOCESTER SMITHFIELD – Competing with high school students across the state, two Gallagher Middle School stu- dents won a $1,000 scholarship to bring their health and wellness idea to life in the classroom. Eighth-graders Valerie Capalbo and Lillie McCormick, both 13, attended the AdVenture Capital Innovation Challenge on March 5 along with classmates, Jack Nardi, 13, and Alex Schoolcraft, 14, to test their innovation skills in a "Shark Tank" style of competition. Tasked with designing health and wellness solutions around the school with a $1,000 budget, Capalbo and McCormick's design was among 23 pitches the AdVenture judges heard at the Rhode Island Convention Center. The GMS students were among the 10 winners to receive a $1,000 check. "It's a cool learning experience to have, and we get to finish with action," McCormick said. Their idea, Fifteen Minute Fitness, was simple: purchase small pieces of exercise equipment to be kept in a box in several classrooms at the school and give students 15 minutes during their free period to exercise. The team decided to stock each room with different equipment, such as jump ropes and weights, so keep- ing track and maintenance of the gear will be easy. "In four sessions, each student can reach 60 minutes of exercise a day," McCormick said. Capalbo said they came up with the idea working with a business mentor, then built a draft of the structure, and gave a one-minute pitch to market the invention. She said she found the social networking and budgeting lessons to be the most helpful during the day. Without budgeting skills, she said she and McCormick would not have been able to plan ahead in purchas- ing supplies for the project. Using the $1,000 check, McCormick and Capalbo will make their idea a real- ity at Gallagher. "I wasn't interested in business before, but now I am," Capalbo said. The pair will work with Karen Guarino, a math teacher, to purchase bulk equipment and boxes and make them available to classrooms. Guarino chose the four students for the entrepreneur experience due to their creative minds and math skills. On the other end of health and wellness, Nardi and Schoolcraft decided to think nutritionally. The duo wanted to create an organic salad bar at lunch to offer students healthy meal options, buying fresh produce from local farms. Though their idea did not win on challenge day, that does not mean the project is out perma- nently. The pair will pitch their idea to AdVenture Capital Innovation Challenge online for a chance to be funded by the organization. "Our mentor said we would almost certainly be approved and be funded to get this going," Schoolcraft said. "People, especially teachers, are already excited about the idea. Some said they'd buy a salad if we brought in the bar," Nardi said. Additional funding to keep projects going is available through AdVenture Capital. Students win funds to bring fitness concept to Gallagher By JACQUELYN MOOREHEAD Valley Breeze & Observer Staff Writer BREEZE PHOTO BY JACQUELYN MOOREHEAD The winners of the ADVENTURE CAPITAL INNOVATION CHALLENGE received $1,000 to bring Fifteen Minutes Fitness to Gallagher Middle School. From left, Karen Guarino, Valerie Capalbo, Lillie McCormick, Jack Nardi and Alex Schoolcraft.

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