Before innovative products and invaluable social services become household names, they are ideas. At Dwight, ideas for innovations abound, and names such as Write Right, TechBreak, The Live-Timed Closed Captioning System, OurDwight, Maria Guerrero Fashion, and SPARKlers are evolving from creative concepts into tangible realities, thanks to Spark Tank.
Spark Tank is a think tank designed to nurture innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership in Dwight's community. This exciting new enterprise is part of The Dwight School Foundation's larger Spark of Innovation Program, which encourages K-12 students to apply for grants to help take their creative concepts with real-world applications into the marketplace.
Spark Tank mentors, Matt Moran and Bentley Ferraina, have assisted students develop their novel ideas in our Spark Tank incubator. At our Spark Tank inaugural event, young entrepreneurs presented their ideas to the Spark Tank Committee for feedback and guidance. The Committee is comprised of nine industry experts and entrepreneurs from the Dwight community; Chair Dave Lindsey (David '18, Maggie '19, and Jackie Ray '21), Patricia Abadie Capel (Nicolas '26, Lucas '30), Jyotsna Bean '96, Paul Dean (Sophia '19), Daniel Klein (Theo '15, Mae '19, Hippolyte '28), Maarten Maaskant (Junior Nicolle '19), Drew Pizzo (Isabella '15, Stefano '18), Nuno Teles (Mada '19, Maria '22), and Charlie Welsh (Rozenn '09, Thomas '16, Hugo '21).
We recognize and congratulate all of the inaugural Spark Tank presenters and committee members.
Fifth grader Maria Guerrero presented work on her own fashion line, Maria Guerrero Fashion, and showed a video from her first fashion show.
- A team of fifth graders — Jake Bruner, Harrison Moffett, Ruby Rigg-Smith, Kyra Spahn, and Winnie Tan, together with their Music Teacher Vita Zambetti — presented their idea for a community service group called SPARKlers to bring music and music education to underprivileged schools and communities.
- Seventh grader Niko Sansevere presented his idea for Write Right, a stylish, customizable pen designed to aid students with dysgraphia.
- Ninth graders Maria Madalena Teles and Michelle Rhee presented their idea for an app called TechBreak to help students become independent of digital devices.
- Eleventh grader Daniil Frants presented his invention, The Live-Time Closed Captioning System, which translates live speech into readable text on a head-worn display for people who are hearing impaired. Daniil was recently recognized for his invention on "The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon."
- Eleventh grader Calvin Solomon presented OurDwight, the app he created to provide students with the latest information and happenings within the Dwight School community. It began as Calvin's tenth grade Personal Project and has grown from there.
Students will progress through the idea, planning, production, proof of concept and launch stages and receive certificates of recognition at upcoming assemblies.
We invite all students at Dwight to join Spark Tank to develop their entrepreneurial spark of genius. And we extend special thanks to those Dwight parents who generously seeded the Spark of Innovation fund at last year's Spring Benefit, so that all students can have the opportunity to become successful innovators at an early age.
We can't wait to see what they do next!