Shark Tank Open – Presenter’s Spotlight -Novel Teaching and Learning Room

This year’s Shark Tank Open, sponsored by Minnesota State Educational Innovations, will feature 12 innovative project proposals in three categories.

One category at the 2019 Shark Tank Open is Novel Teaching and Learning. Get to know the presenters and preview their pitches in the Presenter’s Spotlight below.


Presenters: John Mirth

Institution:  St. Cloud State University

Project Title: Engineering Labs on the Go!

In 2 sentences, describe your Shark Tank Open project:
This project will create a series of portable engineering labs along with a corresponding course guide book. The innovation uses modern, low-cost technology to replace bulky and somewhat dated equipment commonly used in engineering labs.

What part of Shark Tank Open are you looking forward to most?
The challenge of making a successful pitch to a multifaceted audience.

Who is the innovator that inspires you most (past or present)?
James Watt


Presenters: Aaron Reini, Kate Brau, and Rachel Milani

Institution: Hibbing Community College

Project Title: OER Learning Circles in Northeast MN

In 2 sentences, describe your Shark Tank Open project:
HCC hopes to expand the use of OER, no-cost educational resources, in northeast Minnesota. A trained “Learning Circle” leader will guide faculty from multiple campuses through the process of choosing an OER and redesigning a course around it.

What part of Shark Tank Open are you looking forward to most?
Hearing about all the brilliant new ideas from around the state.

Who is the innovator that inspires you most (past or present)?
Dante Alighieri


Presenters: Jacqueline Semaan and Anna Sackette-Urness

Institution: Lake Superior College

Project Title: “SMILE” your Health Depends on It

In 2 sentences, describe your Shark Tank Open project:
Interdisciplinary simulations that utilizes all Allied Health and Nursing Programs to provide comprehensive, holistic, healthcare to patients. The simulation starts with a dental hygiene visit and the standardized patients utilize a bionic hybrid simulation suit to create vital signs and assessment findings that would prompt the hygienist to call for medical assistance.

What part of Shark Tank Open are you looking forward to most?
Presenting how the fidelity of the simulation experiences will mirror real life because of the bionic hybrid simulation suit.

Who is the innovator that inspires you most (past or present)?
Pamela Jefferies – she is a pioneer in the world of healthcare/nursing simulation.


Presenters: Norb Thomes and Joan Bendix

Institution: Winona State University

Project Title: Networked Education: Bringing education to you through robotics

In 2 sentences, describe your Shark Tank Open project:
Winona State University is using robots to work virtually with elementary-education students at the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. Because of the success of the program, WSU is looking to add another set of robotic classmates to expand the program to Pine Technical and Community College.

What part of Shark Tank Open are you looking forward to most?
Hearing the ideas from fellow Minnesota Staters.

Who is the innovator that inspires you most (past or present)?
Steve Jobs – Like Apple or not, he did an awful lot to define the current world of personal computing.


For more information on the Shark Tank Open please contact Stephen Kelly.

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