Grand Avenue Student’s Invention Wows Judges

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When Family & Consumer Science teacher Sarah Norton challenged her students to become innovators, Grand Avenue Middle School student Allison Alvarez jumped at the opportunity. 

The seventh-grader created her own company, Bow Wow Bowties – clip-on harness/collar wear for canines – along with an accompanying video presentation.

“I thought this would be a good product because a lot of people enjoy putting clothes on their dogs,” Alvarez explained. “However, my pug, Rocky, does not like wearing clothes. With this clip-on bowtie, if you attach it to their harness, the dog doesn’t even notice it.”

Alvarez won $100 in the Masters of Invention competition’s entrepreneurship category and will be presented with an award at the Long Island Family & Consumer Science Professionals conference on April 20. Her product was chosen out of nearly 50 submissions.

Her process involved finding a target audience, profit margins, as well as researching materials and adhesives. 

“I decided on felt and used a hot glue gun to adhere the embellishments,” she explained. “It then attaches via a clip or Bobbie pin to the dog’s harness.”

Norton has been working with fellow educators to facilitate the district’s enrichments opportunities in Technology and Family and Consumer Science at the middle school level, which includes Creative Coding and Introduction to entrepreneurship classes.

During the Introduction to Entrepreneurship course, students can begin to explore career possibilities in a variety of business and professional settings.

“Allison is a bright young woman and is just the kind of student we need in our entrepreneurship classes,” Norton added. “Her creativity and out-of-the box way of thinking will be essential in problem-solving and developing our class business plan.”