28 2016

Student Ventures Recognized in 2016 BMO National Student Innovation Awards

June 28th 2016
As the school year draws to a close, students from 10 schools across Canada can look back and say they’ve conquered the daunting world of big business, developed essential life skills and can now add National Student Innovation Awards to their résumés.

Ten classrooms in Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Simcoe County, Toronto and Fredericton were recognized by The Learning Partnership and the 2016 BMO National Student Innovation Awards for their exemplary business ventures, demonstrating originality, enterprising spirit, teamwork, and school and community impact. Judges’ Choice Awards were also given to the classroom ventures that best demonstrated all of these criteria.


Both showcase and awards ceremony events are the culmination of The Learning Partnership’s Entrepreneurial Adventure program, which teams kindergarten to Grade 12 classes with business mentors to help students develop entrepreneurial and other important skills such as communication, collaboration, presentation skills, marketing, business planning and the importance of social responsibility.
Over the past 20 years, BMO Financial Group has been the lead National Program Partner of the Entrepreneurial Adventure program. More than 52,000 students have participated across Canada, creating more than 1,500 successful student-driven ventures and raising more than $3 million for charities to date. There were 57 ventures submitted for consideration for this year’s BMO National Student Innovation Awards.

Winner Citations – 2016 BMO National Student Innovation Awards:

Judges’ Choice Awards
The Grade 5 Dream Makers 
St. Augustine Catholic School
Ottawa Catholic School Board
For their dedication in supporting Syrian refugees and bringing social struggles to life. The students wrote and performed a play that highlights the experiences and struggles of Syrian families upon arriving in Canada. The play focuses on how kindness and empathy can foster courage to understand people’s differences, rather than judge them. All proceeds generated from play sales went towards supporting the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
The Seed of Change
Elmwood School                             
Edmonton Public Schools
For their dedication in also supporting Syrian refugees and other poverty-related initiatives. The students created four separate fundraisers, including “Break-a-Rule Day” to support a Syrian family, a “PoverTea” iced tea and bake sale, a collection of toiletry items most needed by low income families, and a tote bag sale – for which they designed, marketed and sold their own tote bags.
Originality Awards
Helping Hands
George Street Middle School First Nations
Anglophone School District West (Fredericton)
For using mobile technology to enhance literacy among First Nations with a Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) language app that focuses on various categories of the language, including numbers, colours, the weather and family. Students partnered with the Joint Economic Development Initiative to develop the app.
McMurrich Business Day
McMurrich Junior Public School
Toronto District School Board
For their collaboration, innovation and philanthropreneurship as they organize Business Days and events to promote and encourage entrepreneurship and philanthropy among other students. This year marked the 12th Annual McMurrich Business Day, and proceeds will be donated to Free the Children, and Pillar of Education towards rebuilding schools in Haiti, impacted by the 2010 earthquake.
Enterprising Spirit Awards
Share Tech Team Kahoot! Tournament
Holy Cross Catholic School
Toronto Catholic District School Board

For finding a way to incorporate technology to drive student engagement with a venture that uses tech tools to create interactive trivia games for various subjects. The students raised funds to support L’Arche Toronto, a center which supports people with intellectual disabilities.
Glacier Kids
West Bayfield Elementary School
Simcoe County District School Board
For supporting the local restaurant community in Simcoe County – and ice cream lovers – by creating their own flavour of blizzards: the White Strawberry Glacier. The students partnered with the owner of Dairy Queen restaurants in Barrie, who sold their flavour. All proceeds went towards the David Busby Street Centre, which focuses on reducing the impact of poverty, homelessness, insufficient employment, addiction and mental health issues through outreach and services to participants in the Simcoe County area.
Teamwork Awards
Candyland Fun Fair
Rosedale School              
Calgary Board of Education
For providing their community with a Candyland Fun Fair, complete with a silent auction, market concession and student-led dance. They plan to use their proceeds to sponsor a family’s dog guide, and support additional training and medical care for other dog guides.
Earth Savers
Annie Foote School
Calgary Board of Education
For establishing a business venture to help improve the quality of life of other students and support Syrian refugees through various fundraising activities. Students organized a series of fundraisers, including a bake sale, a raffle, a candy gram sale and an evening dedicated to art. Proceeds were split among supporting a student’s family that lost their house, Syrian families, and the Children’s Hospital.
Impact on School and Community Awards
Youth Supporting Youth Mental Health
Greely Elementary School
Ottawa Carleton District School Board
For designing, marketing and self-publishing a cookbook with recipes, mental health facts and positive thinking quotes, submitted by students, staff and community members. The students also organized a Paintnite at the school, in support of Do it for Daron (DIFD), a youth-driven initiative intended to raise awareness of youth mental health.
Food for Thought
Albion Heights Junior Middle School
Toronto District School Board
For identifying and fulfilling a need for a Breakfast Club within their school and local community. Students developed a menu that offers nutritious and budget-friendly options to support specific needs of the community. Proceeds went towards supporting Habitat for Humanity.