Ninth graders at New Tech High are getting advice from members of the Sioux Falls business community this week. As part of algebra class, the freshman are coming up with mock inventions and asking community partners if they would invest in them. 

From special socks to help you avoid your kids’ pesky and yelp-inducing Legos left on the floor to video games and more, students like Chris Davis at New Tech in Sioux Falls are hoping their inventions stack up. 

“I liked that we were able to kind of just go our own way. We didn’t have any set boundaries or rules as long as it involved a little bit of algebra that we needed to do in order to do our project,” Davis said. 

After a short presentation from each group, business professionals from a variety of industries are asking questions and looking into the math behind the ideas. Clinton Brown from The Bakery is impressed by what he sees.  

“Our job really here is to question them on the math but also explore their idea a little bit and see if they’ve thought through the process; if they’ve really done their homework. Most of the kids do a pretty awesome job at it,” Brown said. 

On top of practicing algebra and discussing investments, the kids are getting a quick lesson in public speaking as well. 

“It was pretty interesting. I’ve never really spoken in front of other people outside of the classroom,” Davis said. 

He and his group passed Wednesday’s test but it won’t be their last opportunity here at New Tech. 

“I’ve loved everything that I’ve learned about New Tech in the last couple of years. Obviously it’s project-based learning, which I think is really applicable to the world of business. So it maps really well. What they’re experiencing in the classroom and how they talk with one another and signing contracts and thinking through their stuff, feels like real world business. I love it,” Brown said. 

Brown says on top of helping out with algebra class, the business professionals encourage students to keep pushing forward with their ideas and offer them advice on future career options.