Project Description

An Interview with Pillager High School Teacher Bryan Pederson

Business and Marketing teacher

Bryan Pederson

Pillager High School

Pillager, MN

The Interview…

What relevant subject do you teach?

I teach desktop publishing, accounting, web page design, careers and computer programming

What grades do you teach this subject to?


What attracted you to this contest?

I really liked the opportunity for kids to use their creativity and their knowledge of new products to come up with something fun and innovative.

What did you hope to accomplish or have the students learn?

I wanted to try and connect my students to the real world. I feel as though sometimes students are caught in “school world” and I wanted to show them different opportunities in the real world.

Why this contest and not another one?

My principal sent this to a couple of teachers and I felt this was a good contest to enter because of the chance to dream of new ideas.

How did you integrate this into your curriculum?

I spent about 3-4 days with the students on this so they could plan and develop ideas and then record and submit their ideas. I wanted them to be free and creative.

Did you use any of the materials that the Blue Ocean Competition provided for integrating this into the class?

I used the video to show the students what the competition was about. That helped to set the stage for my conversations with the students.

Did the students have to show each other the pitches?

They did not have to, but some chose to.

Did the students form teams or work independently (or do you even know)?

All of the students formed teams

How did you (or did you) work together with your students on this?

Who did what? I let them work on their own and provided little guidance, I wanted them to be free of rules.

What was hard?

I think it was hard for them to think up some plans and ideas at first, but as the ball got rolling some great ideas came out.

What was easy?

It was easy to register on the website and submit the videos

Were the students excited to participate?

I’m not sure because getting teenagers excited about anything these days is quite the challenge. But I believe they were.

Were the students more interested in developing their ideas or in having the school win the prize for participation?

I had about 50/50. Some kids really wanted to win the prize and others really thought hard about what they were going to make that would be the “next greatest thing”

Did you get any positive comments from students?

I had a many students that were excited about the chance to do something a little different in class.

Do you use or teach the Blue Ocean concepts in your classroom?

Not yet, but we may.

Will they be graded (on participation, on the pitches…)?

They were graded on participation

Was there value to your school in your entering or will there be in winning?

I feel the $1,000 dollars that we won will be used for innovation in business next year at the school. This should help get more entrants in classes next year.

What advice do you have for other teachers thinking about using the Blue Ocean Competition in their classes?

Just go for it! You never know what your kids will create and it’s a great way to get them thinking about entrepreneurship. It was fun and a change of pace inthe classroom for a couple days.

What benefits did you derive from your students participating in the competition?

They had fun and enjoyed their time learning about the competition and themselves.