Brainstorm for the win!




Most of us start Tuesday with coffee, but the BizSmart campers started their Tuesday with a tour at TNACI led by Dr. Clay Raines. Many of them were excited and expressed their enthusiasm through questions and interactions with Dr. Raines. After this rather enlightening experience in the morning, they entered the most fun and important session of the day—Brainstorming.

This seemingly easy activity required a mighty team effort and collaboration as well as creativity. Most of the ideas might have sounded funny, unrealistic, or even wacky. But at the end of the day, the team with the most ideas tended to be more advantageous in terms of choice and tangibility. Below I have included the team, members, and quick overviews.

AQUAFFINAS (Sumita, Lily, Ellas, Ashutosh, Kira, Braidy):
This team was attempting to design a monitor that could monitor fish or water to eventually reduce pollution in order to improve the water quality and the over all well-being of the aquatic organisms. To me, even though the flying pizza restaurant for fish was clearly undoable with present technology, this idea was undoubtedly creative on the next level! There were also great points involving water monitors that could move while simultaneously collecting data of the water. Some of them were rather eager to share their ideas, but slowly and surely, they were learning the importance of collaboration and waited to present their ideas until others finished.

FLIXNET (Luiz, Sonia, Mikey, Adam, Rayyan, Andy):
This team was focused on bettering the daily life of us by designing a product that could display Netflix contact via AR and VR. Their ideas mostly involved goggles, glasses, and physical objects that could be worn or inserted. The possible design of a product that could be inserted into teeth and display content through bluetooth earned them 1 point for the craziest idea among the field of competitors. Not being personal here, but if this becomes a reality, our lives would never be the same again.

Hydro Squad (Trevor, Shantal, Martin, Astha, Peter, Nikos):
This team’s goal was to design a product that could deliver electricity to people in need, especially for underdeveloped countries. My first take on them was they had a ton of notes up! In fact, they won 1 point for having the most ideas, topping 94. Furthermore, their ideas clashed and encountered disagreements over the targeted customers; thanks to their fine team dynamics and work ethic this issue was solved through discussion.

FLUX( Karsten, Wil, Andres, Braswell, Frances, Mallory):
I believe most of us have heard of Fitbit; well, this team was working to design a fitness gadget that would fit different groups of people and offer optimum amount of information. Their ideas involved heavily around wearing gadgets powered by sensors; as a swimmer myself, I look forward to seeing them encompass different aspects and truly “create” a product that could teach us how to exercise correctly and offer details about our daily activities. It is time to prove that cool products are also capable of serving their purpose!

Big congratulations to Luiz for winning the Spirit Award for his enthusiasm and supportiveness in the team!!!



So the journey begins

Welcome! My name is Zitong Wei, a rising senior at Baylor School, and I will be your Camp BizSmart blogger for these two exciting weeks.

Based in Palo Alto, California, Camp BizSmart is an intensive, one-of-a-kind, and “learn-by-doing” experience for students ages 11-15. This year, they are offering a second location “east of the Mississippi”at Baylor School for future “Idea Makers and World Shakers.”

The 24 campers arrived Sunday, June 11 from all over the U.S and as far away as Indonesia. On Monday morning, they formed four distinct groups with each consisting of six members. On each team, there are seven positions such as CEO, CFO, and VOC available. Rather expectedly, the Netflix case is the most popular one, while others opted for TNACI (Tennessee Aquarium Research Institute), HydraBee and Enflux. There will be detailed updates regarding these cases and please do not panic if these names sound unfamiliar to you:)

Depending on their selection of the case, each team will create a unique model and plan during the first eight days of camp and will present them on day nine. In addition, the campers will get to work with local start-ups and charismatic CEOs, design a water project at TNACI located on Baylor’s campus, create prototypes in the Baylor School “Idea Lab,” and so much more. Better yet, the top student from this Baylor cohort will earn a full tuition scholarship to the BizSmart Global Silicon Valley Business Accelerator next summer.

Prior to a fun marshmallow tower build Monday morning, Jack Studer, a Baylor graduate and current CO.LAB director, gave an enthusiastic and enlightening talk about teamwork and technology. With a better sense and understanding of compromise and teamwork, the four groups started with vastly different building methods, but with the same goal in mind: to build the highest one! Clearly, these campers all have a competitive side and they want to win, and it is impressive to see their focus on completing the task. In the end, one group stood out with their building skills while another fails to create one successfully. However, the campers all learned things that are far more important than winning. They realized the collection of the team knowledge and experience and constant change of perspectives are key to maximize the process, which ultimately leads to success.

I look forward to seeing their progress and success at this camp! Stay tuned for frequent updates on activities and photos.


More updates are on the way !!!