Goldfish Bowl Kickstarts LQHS’ Ciro Camarena’s Entrepreneurial Journey

Ciro Camerena ’19 holds the $250 check he was awarded from the sharks at the DSUSD Goldfish Bowl.

On Monday, Nov. 13, the first annual Goldfish Bowl was held at the Desert Sands Unified School District boardroom. According to the original Goldfish Bowl application, the event “affords students and staff the opportunity to pitch their innovative ideas for education to local business people and entrepreneurs.”

The idea came from Scott Bailey, DSUSD’s superintendent. He got the idea from watching the show “Shark Tank” and “wanted to do something that’s never been done in the valley” to promote innovation. “We need to teach students the way they want to learn, not necessarily how we were taught,” he added.

Thirteen students and staff applied throughout the district, while only five made it to the finals. This was based on how well the applicants met the criteria of the application. The prizes ranged between $250 and $4,000.

Ciro Camarena ‘19, an LQHS Medical Health Academy student, went out of his comfort zone by applying to the competition and making it as a finalist. Though it may not be “Shark Tank,” it’s a start.

Camarena invented a pen with two sections. “This pen has [correction fluid] on one side of the barrel, connecting to the other section of the pen that allows one pen to have the function of ink and [correction fluid],” he explained. 

“In eighth grade, my science teacher assigned a science project and as I was writing down ideas, I made a mistake in black ink and I couldn’t erase it,” commented Camarena. “I hope to gain the ability to complete something and I hope colleges will see my hard work and dedication.”

After pitching his idea to the sharks, the judges comprised of Timothy Bradley, Jr., Kathleen McEntee, Mike Napoli, Bianca Rae, Joe Wallace and Brandon Weimer – awarded him $250 to begin patenting his invention, while Wallace also offered him his mentorship for the next few months as he begins his entrepreneurial journey.