Yesterday, I was given the opportunity to check out products that were literally designed by 7th grade students at the Ron Clark Academy. Through a partnership with Staples, they went through a curriculum that had them come up with school supplies that needed redoing, make changes, design a prototype, and come up with a finished product. The kids and I (and others) were able to preview their finished creations at a special event at their school. These items will go on sale at your local Staples starting June 28th.
The kids designed two different styles of backpacks, a pencil case, an all-in-one writing instrument, a super folder (great for lefties), portable desk and floating locker shelves. Their concepts were pretty awesome to see.
The Big Pen (center front in yellow) is a writing instrument with interchangeable tips, pocket and center area for pencils and storage, large eraser, and pencil sharpener. It will retail for approx. $8.99
The Pencil Case (front left in blue) is meant to hold pencils, but will also prop up most phones, small books, tablets, etc. It will retail for approx. $7.99
The Portable Desk (front right in blue) has cushioned backing and smooth surface for working. It also opens up and has storage for notebook, pencils, etc. It also has a side slot for headphones and power cords. It will retail for about $39.99.
The Super Folder (middle left in black/red) has a zipper pouch, clear pockets for schedules, pencil sharpener, sticky notes and writing pad. It will retail for about $12.99.
The Floating Locker Shelves (in pink/blue center) divide the locker up by sitting on a diagonal in your locker. The are adjustable and divide space up so you can be organized. They will retail for around $12.99.
The leaves the last two items, the backpacks. They both have some neat features to consider when looking for a new one for school. First up is the one that's dubbed "Back 2 Back".
It is a square-shaped school back that provides wider storage space, water bottle pockets, and a breathable and detachable compartment for additional storage. The detachable piece is on the bottom and has air holes for ventilation (for those stinky gym clothes/shoes). Inside the backpack is a padded area for a laptop or tablet as well as pockets for papers so they won't get messed up. There is also a zippered pocket on the front for pencils or other accessories. ($52.99)
Last, but not least, is the Accordion Bag (more colors available than the one shown). This one expands and shrinks when you need it and has plenty of pockets. It also includes two padded compartments for tech devices up to 15", multiple pockets for accessory storage and a water bottle. Secondary compartments with organization pockets are include with key clips and expanded gusset for extra storage. ($45.99)
What's really cool about these products, other than their usefulness and ability to keep students organized, is that they were DESIGNED by students. That they were designed by LOCAL students, is even more cool. I wish the students at the Ron Clark Academy many congratulations and hope to see more great things in the future.
(I was compensated for covering this event).