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Horn Entrepreneurship

Teens Tackle Woes of Waste Management


Eight high schools joined together to participate in the inaugural EntreX Lab Delaware Connect design sprint, a timed competition in which students address a problem and pitch a solution to a panel of judges.

Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA) sponsored the event and provided two current problems for students to address: low rates of recycling and clothes overconsumption.  

“DSWA partnered with EntreX Lab for the Delaware Connect event because it is crucial for the next generation to think about and solve crucial challenges such as environmental issues,” said Mike Parkowski, Chief of Business and Governmental Services, DSWA. “The solutions presented by the teams showed the ingenuity and innovation one hopes to see in future leaders.”

The teams had 45 minutes to brainstorm a solution to the problem and create a 2 minute pitch for the judges. The panel of judges included Delaware Solid Waste Authority leadership team members Sarah Culler, Stacey Helmer, Mike Parkowski and Robin Roddy. 

Teams with the top teams earned $25 for each student and $250 for the class.  The winning teams with a strategy to raise awareness of recycling guidelines were:

Padua Academy
Solution: DEcycle - Delaware's interactive recycling app
Team: Maggie Morris, Naya Offor, Cara Quinlan, Caitlin Suter and Bethann Higley (Teacher)
St. Mark's High School
Solution: Recyclone - A  mascot that teaches kids to recycle at a young age
Team: Luca Bracalenti, Kaileigh Brady, Drew Fuska, Josselyn Southard and William Simpson (Teacher) 
Ursuline Academy
Solution: The Discard Card - Credit cards that rewards people for recycling efforts through a points and rewards system
Team: Chloe Dandurand, Katherine Kardash, Aidan Lennon, Bridget Lugg and Erin McNichol (Teacher)

The top team with a strategy to reduce clothes consumption was:

Odyssey Charter School
Solution: Embed QR codes into clothing to reduce clothing waste
Team: Symone Booker, Rachel Johnson, Alonda Alverio Quiñones, Julie Yost and Bruce Fox (Teacher)

Students hailed from Delaware and New Jersey: Bergen Catholic High School (NJ), Freire Charter School Wilmington (DE), Glasgow High School (DE),Odyssey Charter School (DE), Padua Academy (DE), St. John Vianney High School (NJ), St. Mark's High School (DE) and Ursuline Academy (DE).

These schools adopted the EntreX Lab program, a dual enrollment program focused on entrepreneurship education. The curriculum focuses on the key skills of idea generation, creative problem solving, leadership, evidence-based decision making, resilience, teamwork and persuasive communication. Learn more about the EntreX Lab program and adopting it at your school

About Horn Entrepreneurship

Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement at the University of Delaware. Currently ranked among the best entrepreneurship programs in the US, Horn Entrepreneurship was built and is actively supported by successful entrepreneurs, empowering aspiring innovators as they pursue new ideas for a better world.

Topics: pre college, events, educators, environment