West Central Elementary students show off ideas to big crowd

Local News

HUMBOLDT, S.D. (KELO) — Innovative students at West Central Elementary in Humboldt are getting a chance to present their business ideas to local experts. It’s the first time the school is participating in a “Shark Tank” inspired event. 

“It was a little scary,” third-grader Jayla Risty said. 

This is West Central Elementary’s first Shark Tank and it’s drawing a crowd. 

“It was pretty nerve wracking because you’re in front of all these people and if you mess up, you can’t really fix it because you’ll make it worse,” fourth-grader Blaire Aberhard said. 

Winning groups from each grade are putting their inventions to the test in front of local experts in engineering, construction, education, marketing and agriculture. 

“Our invention is extendable shoes and it can extend really high because it can go up to five-feet tall,” Risty said. 

Helping kids find things in hard to reach places. Risty and Haily Chitwood’s idea beat out more than 100 other third graders, giving them confidence they didn’t have. 

“We didn’t think that we were going to get picked at all because we thought ours wasn’t going to be as good as the other ones,” Chitwood said. 

Fourth graders Aberhard and Lyndy Bortnem came up with a plan for when you grow out of your favorite pair of shoes. 

“So when you like your shoes or you don’t want to go shopping, you can just extend it to your size. It only extends two more sizes because by then your shoe might just be worn out,” Aberhard said. 

On top of facing tough questions, these brave students are also getting a lesson in public speaking. 

“I didn’t know what questions were going to be asked, so we didn’t know what to say or what to do,” Risty said. 

Now they’ll be better prepared for the next time their ideas fill the bleachers. 

The winning group is taking home a special certificate and bragging rights. 

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