Spark! Students Create Revolutionary Products


Ben DeMartino, Will Bias, Hayden Crandall, and Andrew Morrison with their mentor.

Has there ever been a product that you go to the store for, but you realize, it doesn’t exist? You think, why doesn’t this exist, it could help so many people.

With help and the right tools, this idea could come to market and change the world. There could be a possible profit because no one has come up with this product before. In Parkway there is a program, called Spark!, in which you can make your ideas come to life. Students have already joined and come up with revolutionary products to change industries in all over America.

One group of students, comprised of seniors Andrew Morrison, Ben DeMartino, and Hayden Crandall, have thought of the idea to change the way a bow tie worn.

“[We want] to redefine what it is to wear a bowtie and change the perspective on what it means to wear a bowtie,” said Crandall.

The group’s idea was to reinvent the bowtie so instead of one piece there are two so the wearer can put together two halves to make a different bowtie every time it is worn.

“The ability to mix and match two halves the more you buy, is what makes this unique. The value of one tie multiplies as you buy more,” said Crandall.

Their company is called Twisted Ties and according to Morrison, DeMartino and Crandall, their product is one of a kind.

“There is nothing like it at all, which is the biggest reason on why we are trying to get a patent,” said DeMartino.

Spark! Is a program where students can start up their own company and Morrison says it a good starting point on how to run a business.

“I know how to start up a business, how to manage it, and how to use social media to my advantage since i’m the marketer,” said Morrison.

Director of Choice Programs, Jennifer Stanfill also says the Spark! Program is a great way for students to explore interests that might lead to careers in the future.

“The Spark! experience allows students to network and learn from other industry professionals so they can be confident about their future college and career goals,” said Stanfill. “Students gain profession-based skills such as medical terminology and first aid certification for our Health Sciences Academy strand, information on business formation in the Incubator and technical skill development in Technology Solutions.  In addition, students develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, as well as collaboration and communication skills.  These professional skills will serve Spark! students well as they prepare for their future academic and career endeavors.”

It’s not just Twisted Ties in the Spark program. There are other products like Kasada, Sparkast, and the Gimble Coffee Mug.

Senior Kevin Harter runs the Gimble Coffee Mug business and he says it could revolutionize the way people will drink coffee.

“I was walking to school one day and I had switched my coffee cup from my right hand to my left. That’s when my idea started. When most people would see a problem, I saw an opportunity,” said Harter.

Harter is an inventor with at least a dozen new ideas up his sleeve and his latest idea is a coffee mug that people can switch hands with. Most coffee mug are either made for right-handed people or left-handed people, but with the Gimble Coffee Mug, someone can switch hands easily. He also plans to add a magnet at the bottom so it can stick to the roof of a car. In later additions, Harter said he wants to make a lid that can wirelessly charge a phone just by the heat given off by the coffee.

“I’m in the progress of creating inventions and getting a patent for them,” said Harter. “When the product gets to market, I will get a select amount of money or a percentage of sales for the product.”

To get these products out in the world of consumers, there is a need for social media marketing and advertising. Senior Charles Strong helps with this need by having these companies on his podcast called Sparkast.

“I was in a business class and I loved it so I decided to feature other people’s businesses in hopes that they could get exposure,” said Strong.

Overall many have succeeded in creating their own business for Spark and they hope to continue it even after they graduate from high school.

“ I plan on working with this business through college and beyond,” said DeMartino.