Student startup at NGHS: Lessons in real world business

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A student startup at North Grenville District High School has not only garnered invaluable real‑world learning (RWL) experiences this semester, but has significantly boosted the online presence of a local business. NG Knights Media Marketing was created in September by Grade 12 students enrolled in the Communications Technology class. The dedicated three‑student team of Liam Steadman, Jacob Smith and Trinity Morrice wrapped up their initial project with a promo video for a local Habitat for Humanity build.

Jake Smith edits in his ComTech class.

Next, they reached out to local businesses in the Kemptville area, including Ben’s BS Small Batch Barbeque Sauce, who jumped at the offer to amplify its online presence.

The team met with owner Ben MacPherson, discussed a marketing plan, and helped create a commercial written by Liam Steadman, which made its debut on the Ben’s BS Facebook page January 19.

“We were able to take our own creative input, discuss something that was going to be enjoyable for Ben, and worked through a plan,” Liam explained.

The students took constructive criticism through the process and included other NGDHS students in the making of the commercial, including drama students as actors.

“It’s a lot more brainstorming than I thought it would be,” said Jacob Smith. “Collaborating with people, emailing, and waiting for responses. You must be open for anything because what you think might work, might not.”


Ben MacPherson (Middle), owner of Ben’s BS Small Batch Barbeque Sauce, speaks with members of the NGDHS Media Marketing Team.

“I’m not the kind of person who enjoys sitting around in a classroom,” said Trinity Morrice. “It’s been nice to go out and do a project like this, in the community, with clients.”

“It was a great opportunity to have other people help me with my business,” said Ben MacPherson. “I also got to help them learn, grow and develop skills that they are going to use in the world, so it’s a great give and take.”

Teacher Brad Vaughan said the RWL aspect was easy to integrate into the curriculum.

“Using RWL in your classroom links really well. The kids were interested, and they got a lot out of it, being in the community, shooting video, and bringing media back to the classroom and working on it here.”

The students were graded on running their business throughout the semester and created a final video, available on their YouTube Channel, about their experience.

“Real‑World Learning lets you get a feel for what you will be doing, and lets you understand if you will enjoy it and take it up in the future,” said Liam.

“It’s a lot of work,” added Jacob. “I enjoyed doing this and could see myself doing it in the future.”

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