The Pitch: 20 Time

Photo by Jerry Winfrey
One of the main graded assignments that you'll want to implement is the Pitch.  This is a science fair-style poster session where your students will have the opportunity to "pitch" their 20% Project to the public.  You'll want to schedule the Pitch about 4-5 weeks from the beginning of the project.  You can invite teachers, administrators, other classes but even more importantly, you can invite students' families to come and view the project ideas.  This project is really popular in the world of EdTech, you may want to consider inviting your district EdTech team.  Additionally, superintendents are always looking for positive events to attend, maybe you can extend an invitation to his/her office.



The Pitch is an opportunity for students to check out each other's ideas.  It also gives parents an inside look at what the project is and, for some parents, it may be the last opportunity to attend a showcase event like this again.  Most importantly, it holds the students publicly accountable for their idea.  




Logistical Questions to Consider

  • Think about the time and place you'd like to have the event.  
  • Is one hour going to be enough or would you like to give more time for the audience to come in and out?  
  • How will you set up the room?  
  • Will you hold the event during school hours or in the evening?
  • If the event is during school hours, will your administrators allow you to pull the students from some of their classes for it?
  • Is your classroom big enough or is there another room, like an MPR, that you can reserve for the event?
  • How will you invite the audience? Email for staff and parents?  Custom flyers/invitations to be mailed home or put in staff boxes?

Student Requirements

Posters: 
Depending on your event room, the poster requirements can be different.  If you have great digital equipment in the room, you can have the students do a digital presentation like a rotating slide show.  If it is a simple room, you may want to require the students use the big 3-fold posters that will stand on a table by themselves.   If doing traditional posters, you might want to give students the option to bring a laptop or tablet to set up in front of the poster to add a digital element to the display.
The one requirement you may want to make about the content of the poster is to include their implementation plan.  The implementation plan includes steps and goal dates, this is great information for the students to include in their pitch to their audience.  
Students will probably use their 20 Time in the weeks leading up to the pitch to work on their posters.  You might want to consider creating a poster about 20 Time to display at the door of the pitch event during this time as well.  Your poster will model and set a standard that they'll be able to see and meet.

Dress and Behavior
Explain to your students that this is a formal presentation and their clothing should reflect that.  Boys should wear a tie, girls should dress up.
You might not want to allow chairs in the event room.  Chairs encourage slacking in presentations like this.  Students should stand by their presentation for the duration of the event and be available to any audience members who would like to hear more about their ideas.

Grading
How will you grade the event?  You can find a sample rubric here, be sure to add tasks that are specific to your own needs.  This is one of the major graded assignments of the project and ends up being the most public part of the assignment.  
It takes longer to go from one showcase to another than you might think.  Think about 4.5 minutes per presentation.  One idea might be to hold graded showcase presentations in a separate conference session (maybe do 5 per 20 Time day before the showcase).  By doing the grading earlier, you are able to mingle with the audience and control the behavior of the students a bit better.
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