Colin Kilpatrick had a fresh take on a dying tree.
Kilpatrick, a Grade 8 student at H.D. Stafford Middle School, looked at it as a business opportunity — and a way to spread his creative wings.
“I thought, ‘I may as well put it to good use,’” Kilpatrick related.
Using his backyard as a workshop, Kilpatrick made ‘cookie art’ by shaping slabs of the tree trunk into half-inch coasters, and then stencilling motivational words such as ‘dream,’ ‘create,’ and ‘happy’ onto their flat surfaces.
Kilpatrick’s wooden creations proved popular at the first annual IDEA Summit held May 8 at the Langley Events Centre’s Fieldhouse.
IDEA is an acronym for Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship, Altruism, and the first annual IDEA Summit, presented by the Langley School District, brought together students from kindergarten to Grade 12 from across the district.
The summit saw students attack problems from different angles. Programs fostering their innovation and ingenuity included PowerPlay, Youth Philanthropy Initiative, Caring in Action, as well as less formal programs promoting entrepreneurship and “socialpreneurship.”
The purpose of the event it to help propel the district forward into its new curriculum.
Starting this September, entrepreneurship and ‘socialpreneurship’ and the skills associated with creativity and innovation; developing and marketing products and ideas; and enhancing social and business awareness will become part of the curriculum.
The summit’s grand finale saw the five top presentations receive accolades and scholarships from the judges. Scholarships included three $2,000 awards and two $750 awards with a 25 per cent donation to the charity of each contestant’s choice.
PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs founder Bill Roche was an IDEA mentor at the event. Roche said the summit’s inaugural year was an impressive one.
“It’s off to a great start,” Roche said. “At different times, there’s been over 1,000 kids here, so it’s been very exciting to be a part of it.”
Roche said he was “really blown away by the creativity of the students.”
“A lot of them who have been participating in PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs have been really excelling with their creative ideas, their products, and their designs, using the market research to come up with colours and styles… it’s really incredible to see what they’ve come up with,” he said.
Design Challenges where students were provided with an open-ended problem, and had to adopt a mindset that fueled original ideas.
The Market and Socialpreneurship Showcases in which students exhibited their products for sale, or explained their plans to change the world.
The Pitch Challenge where the top 20 pitched their product or service in front of a panel of judges who selected the top four presentations.
And Dr. Sarah Lubik, Simon Fraser University’s first director of entrepreneurship provided the keynote address. Lubik’s research on topics that include entrepreneurship education and innovated ecosystems has been published in leading journals, and she has been named one of Business in Vancouver’s Top 40 under 40 and an Innovation Leader by the Government of Canada.
Sponsors included VWR Capital, Envision Financial, Premium Brands, Darnell & Company Lawyers, TD Canada Trust, GF Financial Group, Coast Capital Savings,McDonald’s Restaurants, Kids in the Grove, Save-on Foods, PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs, and the Langley School District Foundation.