Branksome Hall’s Noodle program is one-of-a-kind. It helps students to conceptualize their most innovative and inspiring ideas and bring them to life. Our full Noodle program culminated in the fall with the final competition seeing Happiness Battery win the $10,000 prize to further their business. Although the official Noodle program is over for this year, the program is still providing mentorship and guidance through the “mini Noodle” format.
Faculty Advisor and Technology Experience Designer and Coordinator Donn Pasiliao describes “mini Noodle” as, “Noodle but with an experimental and shorter format,” he said. “The main difference is that it's only running from January to June and it doesn't culminate in a final competition.”
Although it’s called the “mini Noodle” program, it’s still providing students with unique and valuable business experience, through a partnership with York University’s YSpace.
“Part of our partnership with YSpace is a mentorship with one of their entrepreneurs, and we've been partnered with Sarah Davies of More Granola (a Branksome alum),” said Mr. Pasiliao. “She meets with students once every two weeks, and YSpace also provides us with a subject matter expert once a month, where the students get to ask him/her questions around a specific topic. The last two expert meetings have been around conducting market research and using social media effectively.” The mentorship program was made possibly through the generosity of an anonymous donor and it is certainly having a positive impact at the school.
The mini Noodle program also allows the school to experiment with ways to change the curriculum in order to be more inclusive of Middle School students and to welcome more of them into the program.
On Wednesday, April 20, we held a pop-up shop for two of the companies, Dream Beyond Stars and Simplicité, to pitch and sell their products to their student peers at lunch time.
Dream Beyond Stars is a candle company whose goal is to “enhance well-being and help seek serenity through eco-friendly candles.” Led by Grade 8 students Jessica, Carrie and Olivia, the company sells both scented and unscented candles in traditional glass jars and in calming shapes, such as clouds.
Simplicité, composed of Grade 7 students Sarah, Ayun, Cameron, Leila and Grade 8 student Reese, is described as, “a simple idea with a bright future.” At the pop-up shop, the students were selling innovative tote bags made of recycled denim jeans. The group describes their products as, “100% sustainable and handmade with love. With carefully selected designs, our products will never fail to amaze you. Our premium bags are for every occasion, whether it's a gift for mom, a friend or even a special item for yourself. You can rely on Simplicité to create a pencil case or tote bag that suits you. They are simply breathtaking!"
The mini Noodle program also has two other groups participating in the program: inspire, which is described as a company selling, “a variety of different stationery and accessories that teenage girls, including in Branksome Hall, can use on a daily basis. These stationery items consist of notebooks, calendars, agendas, bookmarks, mugs, bracelets and pens. These products will be sold in many colours and styles and will have quote(s) on each item or connected to quotes that are written or said by female leaders all across the globe. These stationery products will provide happiness, motivation, inspiration, drive and hope to all teenage girls in Branksome Hall."
The fourth company working within the mini Noodle program is WoME, which is described as being “inspired by the strong and inspirational women who have made their mark in society! Our products are sweatpants and accessories with BIPOC women’s names and encouraging quotes on the products."2
In the Fall, the formal Noodle program will kick off once again, and will now be contained within a school year, unlike in past years, when it has gone through the summer. We continue to look forward to seeing the growth and innovation come out of both the Noodle and mini Noodle programs.