Submitted by Oswego County BOCES
Student representatives from eight area school districts were tasked with developing a company that promotes Oswego County tourism as part of the fourth and final competition of the year for the Oswego County Academic Youth (OCAY) League.
Students devised companies that promoted the county’s strongest resources, with each team creating their own company name and logo. Promotional materials such as a tri-fold brochure and a 30-second commercial were also required.
Two team members from each school pitched their company idea to a panel of investors, similar to the business-themed show Shark Tank.
Students needed to persuade the group of investors in order to gain their trust, and financial backing. Each school named their price, suppliers and described how the loan would be used.
The challenge also consisted of four timed math quizzes, related to marketing and business. The commercial portion was presented as a live skit. The advertisement needed to appeal to the company’s target audience, and effectively endorse and define company goals in order to maximize profits.
In the end, gold was awarded to the team from Sandy Creek for their “Shark Tank Resort,” a $15 million venue that would feature an aquarium, live music and dinner theatre. They would attract tourists to Lake Ontario by renting out jet skis, and offer snowmobilers with special packages in the winter.
Silver was presented to the team from Mexico for “Lake View Tours,” a guided tour that would bus travelers to popular sites in Oswego County. The schedule included a visit to Fort Ontario, lunch at Rudy’s Lakeside Drive-In and stops at Mexico Point, Selkirk Shores and Salmon River Falls.
Bronze was awarded to the Oswego team for “Sunset Sails,” a sailboat tour company with the tagline “Keep Calm, Sail On.”
The OCAY League was organized in the spring of 1997 with the idea that academics merit a standing comparable to athletics.
Students’ academic skills are challenged and showcased in a wide variety of competitive events that emphasize scholastic excellence, team building, leadership and creativity.
A particular strength of the league is its emphasis on cooperative problem solving. OCAY League is coordinated through Oswego County BOCES’ Instructional Support Services as part of the Gifted and Talented Programs cooperative services.
Members of the Mexico team are Samantha McAuslan, Nick Higby, Kyle Hall, Jacob Delos, Sydney Ryan, Elizabeth Becker, Chloe Partrick and Natalie Scorzzeli. The adviser is Bill Coughlin.
Members of the Sandy Creek team are Sarah McDougal, Jay Ivison, Collin Reff, Jacob Cornell, Zach Halsey, Anita Glenister, Josh Lococo, Molly Horth, Clarice Thibault and Lexi Goodnough. Adviser is Caitlin Urlacher.