Chelmsford High School students dive into the ‘Shark Tank’

Introduction to Entrepreneurship course inspires teams to develop solutions to everyday problems

CHELMSFORD, Massachusetts (Nov. 6, 2023) – Have you ever been waiting out in the cold wondering where your school bus was along its route? Do you lay awake at night worrying about what food items in your fridge or pantry might be expired?

Students in Chelmsford High School’s Introduction to Entrepreneurship class have taken real-world problems just like these and developed creative solutions. Last Friday, Nov. 3, they pitched their ideas to a panel of judges in a “Shark Tank” type scenario.

Tom Sousa, business education teacher at CHS, was pleased with this semester’s results.

“I thought the students did a really good job with their presentations,” he said.

The project-based learning exercise was developed by the DifferenceMaker program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

The collaboration between CHS, the Manning School of Business at UMass Lowell and the DifferenceMaker program has provided students an opportunity to experience working as a team in a challenging environment and develop the confidence to pitch their idea to a panel of judges.

“The partnership with the Manning School of Business and the DifferenceMaker program has been fantastic for students in business education classes here at Chelmsford High,” Mr. Sousa said.

Over the course of the semester, Mr. Sousa said a number of UMass Lowell students visited the classes to work with and mentor the entrepreneurship students on their ideas and presentations.

“Most of the visitors have competed in college level similar events and the others have been involved with running those events,” he said.

Introduction to Entrepreneurship presentations

  • Wee Fee, a device that provides reliable WiFi on-the-go.
  • Yard2Yum, a service that helps eliminate food waste in restaurants
  • Bus Guard Connect, an app that tracks the location of school buses to help prevent late arrivals to school
  • E-Hydrate, a smart bottle that tracks a person’s water intake
  • Back Track Nine, a GPS tracking device that helps prevent the loss of golf clubs while on the course
  • Convenience Couch, a piece of furniture that combines a couch with a refrigerator for those who have mobility issues
  • Flipper, a device that allows for the easy conversion of music from vinyl to digital
  • Bus 360, an app that tracks the location of school buses, as well as students getting on and off those buses
  • Smart Pantry, an app that keeps track of expiration dates on groceries in a person’s home

The judges for this semester’s presentations were Superintendent Dr. Jay Lang, CHS Principal Steve Murray, Donna McFadden, State Association Advisor for Massachusetts DECA, and Dr. Neil Shortland, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies at UMass Lowell.

“I am always interested in the way the students respond to the questions from the judges, because there is no way to prepare for what they might be asked, and for the most part I thought they did a nice job responding,” Mr. Sousa explained. “Our judges really do a great job of challenging the students in an educational way.”

Following the presentations, the judges recognized three teams. Bus 360 garnered Best Slide Deck honors; Smart Pantry took home Best Overall Presentation accolades; and Yard2Yum was named the Best Overall Group.

About Chelmsford Public Schools

The Chelmsford Public School District provides all students with multiple pathways to optimize their own potential for academic excellence, leadership, and social and emotional wellness. The mission of the Chelmsford Public Schools is to educate, engage, prepare, and empower well-rounded and knowledgeable learners to PERSEVERE through challenges, demonstrate RESPECT and INTEGRITY in their words and actions, are DEDICATED to their community, and display EMPATHY as global citizens while discovering and pursuing their full potential.  This PRIDE-driven culture enables all members of the school community to support the growth and development of students.  For more information, please visit