EDD Pitch Night
Teams of students in Ithaca High School’s Engineering Design and Development (EDD) class have been hard at work developing solutions to a variety of real-world problems. On December 18, the students pitched those solutions to a panel of judges at Rev: Ithaca Startup Works, in hopes of securing a share of $2,500 in funding to help turn their ideas into reality.EDD, the capstone course of IHS' Project Lead the Way sequence of pre-engineering courses, allows seniors in the program to use previously developed skills – including the application of the design process, use of computer-aided design, coding, and manufacturing – to approach problems as if they were working engineers. After identifying a problem, teams conduct market and historical research and work with mentors from both IHS and the Ithaca business community to confirm the need for a proposed product or service.
Then, during the Shark Tank-style Pitch Night, the students present their chosen problems and potential solutions to a panel of judges, who in turn ask questions and deliberate on how much funding to award each team. The funding helps the teams continue their work in the second half of the year-long class, which includes developing prototypes, conducting further research, and testing their products in preparation to bring them to market.This year, the EDD teams pitched a variety of products and services, including:
- Waste-a-Weigh, a device that monitors the weight of trash cans for curbside collection services;
- OilEdge, a spray that protects vehicle frames from rust;
- Revine, a device that sanitizes old wine bottles, allowing wineries to reuse them;
- Fliegen Towbars, an aircraft tow bar that improves safety by creating more space between the operator and a plane’s propeller;
- Grocery Guide, a console with a screen that attaches to a grocery cart and shows shoppers the most efficient route through a store to retrieve the products they need;
- Silver and Strong, an exercise device that attaches to a wheelchair and allows the user to work out independently; and
- TerraKashi, a compost bin designed to conceal smells and empty more easily than existing bins.
Pitch Night is made possible through partnerships with Tompkins County Area Development (TCAD), Tompkins Insurance, and IthacaSTEM Advocates, an affiliate of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI), as well as several mentors who volunteer their time to work with the students.
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