Westerville North High School teachers Jeffrey Bracken and Amanda Mosely were recognized in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania last week as recipients of a $7,500 Freedoms Foundation Leavey Award. They received these funds in support of their Chem Gems Soap Company.
Students at North are mass-producing high-quality soaps, bath bombs, and lip balms. Chemistry teacher Jeffrey Bracken and business teacher Amanda Mosely teamed up to create this interdisciplinary school wide project. Chemistry students apply their scientific knowledge to create the cosmetics, and business students harness the power of social media to successfully market the products to both local and online consumers. Computer science students develop and maintain a website for online sales. Art students designed the Chem Gems logo and take pictures of the products for marketing materials. And special education students package the finished products. Pupils have produced more than 1,400 bars of soap and 3,000 bath bombs over the course of the project, and recently added a line of lip balm that sold 500 tubes in its first four months. Students plan to expand online sales with an Amazon storefront and develop a full line of liquid soap products. Bracken said, “We are excited about the anticipated positive impact of this award on our Chem Gems Soap Company.”
Since 1977, Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge and the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation have honored outstanding teachers for bringing passion and creativity to their classrooms as they teach students about entrepreneurship and the free enterprise system. The awards program recognizes educators at the elementary, junior high school, high school, and college levels for innovative and effective techniques in teaching entrepreneurship and the free enterprise education. Up to 20 cash awards are made annually valued at $7,500 each. To date, the program has recognized more than 600 teachers from across the country and awarded some $3.8 million.