After five years of putting on the state’s largest eco-friendly business expo and winning national Junior Achievement Awards, Beachwood High School marketing teacher Greg Perry and his students are so over The Green Dream.
“It was very been there, done that,” class CEO Brooke Arnold said.
The students are raising the bar for the businesses they’re bringing in to their expo next spring: companies who are doing the biggest, the best, and the newest in their field. And at the spring expo, the students do not want to see posters and brochures; they want exhibits that attendees can interact with.
“This year we’re taking on a new challenge,” Mitch Longo said. “It’s basically our new dream.”
Called Entrovation (that's "entrepreneurship" plus "innovation"), the class will soon have a new website and a new classroom to go with the word they created.
Last year’s Green Dream expo drew an estimated 2,000 attendees to the Beachwood Community Center and featured local sustainable businesses, food trucks, exhibits and more.
The marketing class, offered by a consortium called Excel TECC and comprised of students from Beachwood, Solon, Mayfield and other schools, also conducts other projects throughout the year, like selling school tee-shirts, teaming up with Chick-Fil-A for breakfast fundraisers and, in 2011, hosted a gala to raise money for the expo.
They raised the money to furnish an eco-friendly classroom at Beachwood High School a couple of years ago — and that classroom is now gone.
This summer, the Green Dream classroom was renovated and made into a traditional classroom. Greg Perry’s class is sharing a room with a Spanish teacher until renovations at Beachwood High School are complete, giving them a new “fishbowl” space in the center of the school with a “spirit store” attached that the class will staff and manage.
That means the class has this school year to raise the funds for a new state-of-the-art, innovative classroom that matches the program’s “entrovative” goals.
Among their fundraising goals? Perry’s friend is offering the class a $5,000 commission for finding a viable buyer for his yacht (they created a website for it here).
The inspiration for the new classroom’s décor comes from a fan that Perry has in the classroom: a circular frame that somehow creates a breeze without blades. Visitors often stick their hands into the fan to prove to themselves that they aren’t seeing things, the students said — it’s eye-catching, futuristic and surprising.
“I think it will be cool to be able to design something that not only we’ll be using but that someone else will be using — to leave our print here,” said Jon Tramer.
“We’re all really dedicated to entrovation and we want to make it as big as possible and as successful as we can for many years as a green dream,” he added.
It won’t be cheap: the class is eyeing designer cabinets and a futuristic conference table that folds with its chairs into an egg.
And for the flooring, students are considering liquid floor tiles that change colors when the students step on them — literally, leaving behind footprints.
The Entrovation Expo will be April 19, 2013. Register or find out about sponsorship oppotunities here.