The Bezanson Bulldog Pen

Bulldog Pen
Bezanson Grade 8 & 9 students with the Bulldog Pen judges Dean Radbourne, Chris Warkentin, Terri Sudnik, Melissa Strban and Mack Erno

Welcome to the Bezanson Bulldog Pen! A Science Fair meets Dragon’s Den style event where 14 student groups competed for the very first time on January 17 2018 in the Bezanson School gym.

Miss Owen’s grade’s 8 and 9 careers class has been working on their projects since October in conjunction with the Junior Achievement Program, A Business of our Own, to build a product and learn about what it takes to build that product into a working business.

“Junior Achievement has unique programs that allow students to experience and understand business, preparing them for leadership. They enable young people to gain financial responsibility, make confident decisions and become innovators. It was under the enthusiastic guidance of JA Volunteer, Katherine Cissell and their Careers teacher, Jillian Owens, that the Grade 8 & 9 Students at the Bezanson School really stepped up to the challenge and impressed our panel of judges.  They had creative, innovative solutions to problems with very well thought out business plans ” ~ Terri Ellen Sudnik, Regional Development Senior Officer, Junior Achievement Northern Alberta NWT.

Judges; Dean Radbourne, Chris Warkentin, Mack Erno, Terri Sudnik and Melissa Strban

There was a wide variety of projects designed ranging from those servicing the pet industry, trending teen products as well as projects with emphasis on social responsibility. Many of the students had very strong presentation skills and even those that didn’t win a cash prize had some really great ideas and knew their business plan inside and out. It was apparent that the students have grown from the experience.

“I enjoyed it because of the new experience. It felt much more professional then science fair and was able to be taken seriously and treated as a young adult. Their comments helped me and my partner look at a different perspective that we have not yet thought about.” Sadie LaValley, Grade 9.

The panel of judges for the Bulldog Pen included local business people Terri Sudnik and Melissa Strban of Junior Achievement of Northern Alberta & NWT, Mack Erno from Jade Cash, Dean Radbourne of Erine’s Sports Experts, and Chris Warkentin our local Member of Parliament. Each brought a great dynamic to the event with their fun comments and willingness to try out products and offer ideas to the students to improve their business plan.

Bulldog Pen Winners
Bulldog Pen Winners Josh Street and Rylan Larson demonstrating their prototype to judge Melissa Strban

The best overall prize winners of the event were Josh Street and Rylan Larson with their project the Power Alarm. Both boys remarked that they enjoyed the process, from design development and coding right down to the presentation in front of the real judges.

2018 runners up in the Bulldog Pen; Maren Laverick and Sadie LaValley with their project Cool-Tape, Tanna Howarth and Kiera Dorner’s youTube channel KTVT, Mia Wilson and Danika Cadieux with Sneaker Stickers, Chase Cissell and Lane Moody with their Survival First Aid Kits. Winners will receive cash prizes for their efforts from our event sponsor the West Smoky Legion #244.

“It was amazing to witness these great entrepreneurs developing within our regional schools across the Peace Region.  JA Northern Alberta has programs in Grades 3 – 12 and we would love to bring the financial literacy and entrepreneurship programs to as many students as possible” ~ Terri Ellen Sudnik, Regional Development Senior Officer, Junior Achievement Northern Alberta NWT.



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