MISD students in national spotlight as they throw the mallet head this week


(left to right) Jonathan Douglass, Meta Real Estate, mentor; John Knight, First Financial Bank, mentor; Tyce Anderson; Emma Splawn; Whitney Krupala, Right at Home Midlothian, mentor; Noah Hobin; Peter Olusanya; Caed Mitchell; Zander Hubbard. Photo credit: Midlothian ISD

Mallet Head Team Pitchs Wednesday 7/21

As anyone who has ever watched “Shark Tank” on TV knows, the lights shine the brightest on those lucky enough to have a chance to try and strike a deal with one or all of the millionaires / billionaires. in the room.

A team of student entrepreneurs from the Midlothian School District who call themselves Mallet Head will be in the spotlight, albeit on a smaller scale, Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. National Summit on Unexplored Learning 2021.

Mallet Head created and released revolutionary percussion mallets to the MISD Shark Tank team in May. From there, they progressed to a national quarter-finalist, then a semi-finalist and have now been chosen as one of the country’s five teams to compete in the national competition.

Members of the Mallet Head team include CEO Zander Hubbard; Emma Splawn, Chief Financial Officer; Tyce Anderson, marketing; Peter Olusanya, Supply Chain Manager; Caed Mitchell, chief engineer; and Noah Hobin, quality control. The students were part of the INCubatoredu program on the MILE (Midlothian Innovative Learning Experience) campus at MISD.

adults with cardboard check
(left to right) Stephen Hidlebaugh, Leasing Impressions, judge; Meredith Chase, 1558 brand agency, judge; Emma Splawn, Tyce Anderson, Jamie Wickliffe, Century 21, The Wickliffe Team, judge; Caed Mitchell, Mayor of Midlothian Richard Reno, Omega Airline Software, judge; Zander Hubbard; Peter Olusanya; Noah Hobin; The Honorable Michael Williams, Former TEA Commissioner and currently Distinguished Leader in Residence, Judge. Photo courtesy of Midlothian ISD

The MILE at Midlothian ISD

MILE is a state-of-the-art educational institution that offers flexible learning environments that mirror current industry and workplace environments across six professional and technical education pathways: Culinary Arts, Cyber ​​Security , video game design, aerospace engineering, civil engineering and entrepreneurship. The programs in this building give students at the two MISD high schools (Midlothian and Heritage) the opportunity to use industry standard equipment and professional practices in a career path that interests them.

Providing students with a space to imagine, create and iterate has proven successful with these students. They took an idea, rejected it, started all over again, developed so many versions of their prototype, and now have a patent pending product that will change the way percussionists work, ”said Nikki Nix, Director of CTE and Le MILLE.Their perseverance, their courage and their resilience were manifested. Their product and the students on this team are a game-changer. “

This team of students have applied for provisional patents for both their locking mechanism and the interchangeability of the mallet head and mallet sticks. They have received a lot of support from the community, including pro bono patent work, pro bono LLC training offerings, and financial support.

Experience is priceless

Mallet Head won $ 7,500 at MISD Final Pitch Night, with potential to win more at the next National Pitch.

But, as the team members will attest, there is a lot more money to be made from this project.

“This whole experience taught me a lot. With the help of experts from all over with varied talents and professions, we had the opportunity to absorb the knowledge of each of them and pour it into our company. Mallet Head has the ability to change the percussion industry for years to come, and we are delighted to continue to operate with that, ”Splawn said enthusiastically.

“Helping to build Mallet Head from the ground up has really been an eye opener for me. There are many elements that go into starting a business that I probably would have taken for granted had it not been for the idea to do business, ”Olusanya added. “Determining what materials to buy at a reasonable price, restructuring and refining ideas to better meet the needs of your target customer are just a few of the tiny components that help rebuild our business as a whole.

“The fact that we are still consolidating Mallet Head as a reputable company shows how much you really have to get up and go, which has been a very humbling experience. “

Revolutionize an industry

Mitchell said the project and the companies were unique to him for several reasons, the main one being that he was able to design a product to help revolutionize an industry he loves. As an engineering student, he started the year in a separate class from the entrepreneurship team.

“I am so happy that I was able to find such a flexible team that was able to help promote and pursue the idea. Through this collaborative teamwork, we were able to bring my idea to life and make my prototype a business start-up reality, ”said Mitchell.

Several mentors echoed their thoughts on how this experience edified them as well, as well as the excitement of seeing young people working to make big changes in the world.

Mentors love to watch students grow

“My experience working with Mallet Head has been fantastic. It has been a pleasure to see these teams of students working with our engineering students on a product that will change the percussion industry, ”said John Knight of First Financial.

“Having the opportunity to guide the developers of Mallet Head opened my eyes to all that MISD and The MILE have to offer. It excites me to know that our district is committed to preparing students with real business skills. I am excited about the future of Mallet Head and The MILE, ”said Whitney Krupala of Right at Home Midlothian.

And Jonathan Douglass, Meta Real Estate, added, Watching this group of students evolve, grow and overcome obstacles has been nothing short of amazing. When their first idea didn’t work out, many of their age would have just given up. Instead, they found an amazing product in their same school’s engineering department. Watching them learn to overcome obstacles and build on their relationships in our community has been a wonderful experience. “

In addition to the exciting experience they are going through right now, Anderson said being a part of Mallet Head has prepared him and his teammates for the challenges they will face in their lifetimes.

students making a presentation
(left to right) Caed Mitchell, Tyce Anderson, Zander Hubbard, Emma Splawn, Peter Olusanyaf. Photo courtesy of Midlothian ISD

Learn life skills

“This opportunity has given me more knowledge and life skills than I could ask for. At Mallet Head I was introduced to so many connections with knowledgeable people who gave me endless sources of information and knowledge, things that I will use for the rest of my life, ”he said. he declares.

Nix said the group has embodied MISD’s vision of inspiring students to excellence by being an inspiration themselves. She noted that as part of an interdisciplinary partnership between engineering students who create CAD drawings and 3D prints of their breakthrough design students and business students who develop finance, marketing strategies and a business plan. comprehensive business, these students are shaping the path to success.

“As these amazing students demonstrated, if you give students a safe space to think creatively, create ideas and solve problems, you will be blown away by their ability to meet and exceed your expectations,” Nix said. .

To view their presentation, click here.

Midlothian ISD invites the community to join them Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at MILE to watch Mallet Head pitcher live for the INCubatoredu National Finals. Good luck Mallet Head.


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