Three seniors at Butte High School won first place in a Business Professionals of America Shark Tank competition for creating an LED system that allows people to follow every movement of a basketball or volleyball.
Ashley Olson, Mya Stenson and Tylar Clary were tops among 11 shark tank teams who participated at the association’s Fall Leadership Conference held Oct. 3-4 at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. They received $500 to be used toward the BPA’s State Leadership Conference in Billings this March.
More than 300 students from 55 BPA chapters in Montana attended the conference. The BPA is the leading career and technical organization for students pursuing careers in business management, office administration, information technology, coding and other related fields.
The competition mimicked the ABC show "Shark Tank,'' which shows entrepreneurs making business presentations to a panel of five investors, or "sharks," who decide whether to invest in their company.
The Butte High girls created a motion-detection program for sports that can benefit players and spectators alike. They called their project “Lumos-Tech — The Future of Athletics at Your Fingertips.”
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With a Lumos-Tech enabled basketball or volleyball court, in place of painted on court lines, there is an LED system that detects every movement of the ball. For example, if the micro-chipped ball were to go out of bounds, the lines would glow red.
With this technology, there is also a compatible app. For each Lumos-Tech gym there is a unique QR code, which will give you a visual of every play and call so there is never any confusion.
The project demonstrated effective teamwork skills needed to function in a business setting, effective oral communication skills and applied technological skills. And their presentation to judges was a hit, too.
They displayed a large poster they designed for a visual for the judges as well as a mock court with LED lights.
Kotie Dunmire, a Butte High teacher and BPA advisor, said Clary, Olson and Stenson worked hard on the project and it paid off.
“When they told me about the idea and their excitement behind it, I knew they had something great,” Dunmire said. “I am so proud of them and cannot wait to see what’s next.”
At the State conference in Billings, the seniors will attend workshops and participate in workplace skills assessment events and take part in a Special Olympics walk. Students from more than 100 schools will attend.