What is with all these school dreams?

With only four months left before sitting the Leaving Cert, I spent most of my free time studying.
One evening after studying I decided to take a break. First, I lounged around, watching tv and browsing social network. Scrolling through posts of one-liners selfie pics an interesting ad caught my eye.

The sponsored ad promoted a competition for young and enthusiastic entrepreneurs. Considering the time of year, it was obvious the ad was targeting students and undergraduates.

With nothing to lose, I followed the link to the main page. Reading through the guidelines, the entry procedure became clear. Basically, entrants had to design and outline their idea. Project specs, sketches, a pitch and a Spark Story (How I came up with the idea…) had to be submitted too. With that done, all that’s left is to fill in personal details and press Enter.

The competition deadline was March 1st. In July, when all the proposals have been judged, the best 3 projects would be chosen for the final.
When I finished reading the guidelines, inspiration struck me!

I had an idea

Spark Story:
One thing I always dread at the end of each school year is emptying out my locker. This year will be the last time I clear crumpled papers and other bits and bobs from the small locker. No more back-breaking school bags. For the six years of secondary school at least students had lockers. However in Primary School was a lot different. Instead of lockers, plastic baskets were used to store books and copies.

Looking back now, the overfilled baskets under each students desk were potential hazards. Especially in emergency situations.
At the end of June each year, every student had to lug the 10kg baskets home. Some students got their parents help, others divided the weight between their backpacks and basket and some had wheely bags. Still, it was a ridiculous task for a child to undertake.

For the entire school year, students were stuck in their assigned seat. To change subject they swapped materials in the basket beneath them. The only time the students got to move around was at 11 o’clock break and lunch-time.

The Trolley Dock

  • Instead of immovable baskets cluttering up the floor, each student would have a small(child-sized) “shopping” trolley.
  • Each classroom would have a Trolley Dock.
  • Students would only take out the necessary materials for each subject
  • When changing subject, they would swap materials in their trolleys.

This would allow students to move around briefly instead of remaining seated all day. Previous studies have proven that combining play and learning makes school more enjoyable.

Inspired by reward cards used in supermarkets.

  • Students can earn points for simple things like finishing homework, completing assigned helper tasks and more.
  • Every student can earn points but the amount depends on dedication, behaviour and maybe test scores. (Ex. 60% = 6 points)
    • Children with special needs and learning difficulties need to be remembered too.
  • Points can be exchanged for things like Homework Pass, Lucky Dip Prizes and other perks.

Inspiration and ideas bursting from my imagination, I completely lost track of time. I was so absorbed in sketching and scribbling. 3 hours had passed and my hands were aching from writing the overview, pitch and spark story.
Delighted with my idea, I filled out an application for the Young Entrepreneur Competition.

From April to June, I was focused on studying and investigating college courses. I completely forgot about the Young Entrepreneur Competition.

In late July I received a letter in the post. I couldn’t believe it! My ‘Trolley Dock’ proposal made it to the final stage. Excitement and glee washed away all the anxiety from awaiting exam results.

For the final stage, I would have to pitch the Trolley Dock project to a panel of business people, Primary school students and teachers.

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