Elevate students tackle a real world business problem

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Carly Buckman, Reporter

Two years ago, Craig High School created a program to provide business-minded students the expanded opportunities to have hands-on, real world experiences in a professional setting.

The program, known as Elevate, allows students to earn three credits; one English credit, a half social studies credit, and one and a half elective credits.
For the first time ever, the Elevate program incorporated a competition into its curriculum.

On Friday, Feb. 12, Craig High School had held its first annual case study competition with Pewaukee High School.

Nearly nineteen Craig students were placed on cross-collaborated teams, meaning that students from Craig were placed on the same team as students from Pewaukee.

Prior to the competition, students were given a Harvard Business School case study called Google Project Oxygen, that highlighted what Google sees as eight critical management traits needed to be successful and efficient managers.

Students were to read the case study and developed a presentation on what they found in the case study.

Craig was “looking to do this [competition] last year pre-Covid and we were going to find a central location where kids could do it face to face,” said Mr. Kane. “We were looking to do it at Whitewater, but clearly the pandemic put a stop to that.”

However, the pandemic offered another way to engage students. “We’ve always wanted to do this and we said there’s no better time than now, so why don’t we use the virtual option?” said Mr. Kane of the decision to hold the competition via video conferencing.

The goals of the competition were the same as they would have been face-to-face. It was “an opportunity for kids to be innovative and collaborative and work with people they’ve never worked with on a business problem and create solutions,” said Mr. Kane.

Prior to students presenting, students had the opportunity to hear some guest speakers talk.

Each speaker talked for about three minutes on various topics that aligned with the traits students had read about in the case study.

The guest speakers were individuals that have been affiliated with Pewaukee’s program, Insight, or Elevate and those that have worked in interesting career fields.

For example, the CEO of World Media Education in Los Angeles and a student from the University of Notre Dame attended via video conferencing to speak to students.

Afterwards, students competed in divisions for the preliminary stages of the competition. 

There, each group in the division presented to a smaller panel of judges, those that have been affiliated with Elevate or Insight.

The highest scoring group from each division then advanced to the final round.

The finals had three groups present to all of the judges while non-competing students watched. 

The judges then decided on the winning group which consisted of Craig students Eli Shucha and Thomas Lyon.