Shark Tank

Shark Tank
This is the image for the news article titled Shark Tank

Back by popular demand is Shark Tank.  

The event is based on the popular tv show, that puts our grade 12 Engineering Capstone students in the hot seat to present to a full audience and five industry experts their most innovative ideas.  This class is a new and innovative course that is currently in its second year of being offered in the WHS curriculum. The design of the course and the heavy focus on skills-based learning outcomes are intended to be a unique experience for our students. Students have been challenged to identify a problem they find interesting and to propose a unique solution to it. We have invited five “sharks”, experts in business and applications of science and technology, to vet their ideas and identify which student projects will move on to the prototyping phase of product development. The pressure is on and the reward goes past a good grade in the class.

Mr. Kaplo has been the pioneer in this event for the last two years.  The event is not to just have students hand in some work to get a grade, it teaches them life skills that go beyond the classroom, skills of the modern entrepreneur. This project is about teaching students that success is not just taking one class and passing, it's all about taking risks, working hard, being resourceful and what you don’t know, figure it out.  

Throughout the year, students build mentoring relationships with the sharks to help guide them in their design process and they are also given the opportunity to listen to some really successful people, and see all of the skills that they have and learn from their mistakes, take notes from their accomplishments.

The event is open to the public and will be held on Thursday, November 8th(6pm-10pm) in the Auditorium.

Learn more about our sharks who are have all volunteered their time to be apart of this great event for our students.  

Meet the Sharks

Catherine H. Crawford

Catherine H. Crawford, PhD Distinguished Engineer IBM Research, graduated from MIT with a SBME and Princeton University with an MSE and PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.  Her PhD research was in the area of direct numerical simulation of turbulence in complex geometries. Since then, she has spent over 20 years at IBM Research and has published and patented in areas as diverse as numerical simulation on parallel architectures, computer system performance analysis and modeling, high performance computing systems, embedded systems, and mobile devices.   Her work has earned her corporate awards, a selection to the Mass High Tech Women to Watch and even a reference in the congressional record for her foundational software work on hybrid systems which ultimately led to the world's first petaflop computer, Roadrunner. Her current work focuses on machine learning problems, including computer vision, leveraging mobile and embedded systems.  While not making the bits fly at IBM, she stays busy spending time at baseball and volleyball games and hacking on FIRST robots with her husband and three children in southern NH.

Tom “TK” Kuegler

TK is Chairman of Alumni Ventures Group and a longtime entrepreneur. Besides serving as Chairman of AVG, he is Chief Investment Officer, assisting in the launch of new funds, recruitment of deal teams, and oversight of portfolio managements. He is also the Co-founder and General Partner of Wasabi Ventures, a venture capital, incubator, and consulting firm that specializes in building and advising early stage technology companies. In the last ten years, Wasabi Ventures has built, financed, and advised over 200 startups, including Right Now Technologies, PBworks, Ustream, and Etherpad. Previously, TK was the co-founder of two successful Internet startups, SNT and SpinBox. He is also the author of Web Advertising and Marketing and dozens of articles about the Internet, as well as a frequent lecturer. Since 2010, he has served on the Board of Sponsors of Sellinger School of Business at Loyola University Maryland. TK earned a BS in Economics from Loyola.  

Ron Emrick

Ron has been working professionally in the Software and Internet business for over 25 years. Whether it is helping to design and scale large enterprise websites, leading development teams to create database middleware solutions or participating on teams to deliver state-of-the-art mobile applications, Ron’s passion for building world-class software is undeniable.

As the Director of Engineering Innovation at Alumni Ventures Group (AVG), Ron oversees the design, development, and implementation of all web and mobile applications used by both AVG’s customers as well as by employees company-wide.  Over the past several summers, Ron has guided high school students in summer internship programs helping them to unlock the magic that coding and engineering have to offer. Ron enjoys traveling with his family, a round of golf with his sons and coaching football.  

Spencer Webb

Trained in electrical engineering at MIT, Spencer Webb spent eight years as an analog design engineer prior to finding and focusing on his passion: antennas. Mr Webb's early projects include work on low-earth-orbit satellite ground-station communications antennas for some of the first email-over-satellite projects to handle urgent medical communications.  He was able to successfully triple the data throughput of ground stations that were located in Africa. His work in the area of covert electronics for the law-enforcement and intelligence fields began in 1994, when Mr. Webb became the Senior Antenna Engineer for DTC Communications where he developed a reputation for innovative and extremely efficient antenna designs for audio and video transmitters, beacons and tracking systems.

In 2000, Mr. Webb left DTC and started AntennaSys, Inc. designing antennas for all applications.  He serves as a consultant for numerous companies incorporating embedded antennas in their commercial products.  Mr. Webb is also a respected trainer for the U.S. Military in the area of improvised antennas for Special Operators.

Mr. Webb is a named inventor on over twenty U.S. patents, and multiple international patents.  

When not designing antennas, Mr. Webb is a dedicated husband, and father to two great kids who think that every home’s garage is meant to house a complete machine shop.  He's been licensed as an Extra-Class Amateur Radio Operator since 1977. He is an avid photographer, and a 3rd-degree Black Belt and Instructor at United Taekwondo in Pelham NH.

Ken Samel

 Kenny started his professional career in technology when Wang Labs hired him away from the family business. He spent the next seven years developing the industries first 3.5” floppy disc controller, the first hard drive based PC, and many other communication and data storage products. Kenny left Wang when he and a close friend decided to take a risk and start their own company: Magna Computer. Magna Computer developed controllers and one of the industry’s first graphic workstations, the first encryption disk controller for the US military, and a real-time data translation device for the US State Dept. During this time, Magna Computer was featured in the Business New Hampshire Magazine, PC Magazine and ComputerWorld. Ten years after Magna Computer was founded, it was acquired by EMC.

At EMC, Kenny was the Director of Hardware Engineering for their Secondary Storage Products division. He was responsible for the hardware development, product test tool development and customer installation tool development teams. His teams also developed and implemented one of the industries first completely automated ‘push software update systems’, which would automatically update the customer’s systems in the field during periods of inactivity.

After ten years at EMC, Kenny left and moved his life, family, and career to California where he joined Quantum as VP of Software Development for the CTO office. One year later, Kenny became the VP of Engineering. He led the hardware, software, and test engineering development organizations spread across five locations around the world. He also served on the Patent Review Committee, the Advanced Development Group and was a member of the Due Diligence team for mergers and acquisitions. Kenny then moved on to become the VP of Customer Application Engineering at an industry leading developer of Solid State Discs. He lead a team of engineers working with IBM, HP, Dell, Lenovo, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, as well as the US military.

Following his retirement and before moving back to NH, Kenny assisted at University of California, Irvine in their Applied Innovation program known as The Cove. He also was part of The Million Cups program, which encourages anyone (students and locals of any age) to present their product ideas to an audience made up of VCs, patent attorneys, and business savvy consultants.

Throughout his career, Kenny has developed over 100 consumer products including high end audio, the market’s first flat screen plasma TV, digital projectors for home and movie theaters, medical and safety devices, including a safety device used by free-divers and scuba-divers as well as the Navy Seals.




Linx Logo

A special thanks to Linx Technologies who was this year's event sponsor.  They graciously donated GPS tracking equipment to be used  by our students for testing and implementation of their prototypes. 

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2019 West Corporation. All rights reserved.