High school students working on ‘Project Chaos’ to educate parents on game day behavior

Local students brainstorming ways to make youth sporting events friendlier

MASON, Ohio (FOX19) - A group of local students from different schools are working to create a better environment for coaches, parents and athletes.

The program, called “Project Chaos,” involves students from several local schools, including some at Mason High School.

Simran Tickoo and Tani Madichetti, both Mason seniors, are two of the student leaders of the project. They have been working alongside Mason business teacher, Deanna Hogenkamp.

“It’s taking the students through the design thinking process. A lot of the Fortune 500 companies, this is what they do in their day to day operation," Hogenkamp said.

They are working with students and staff members from Lakota, Loveland, Middletown and Butler Tech schools. There are more than 100 people involved in total. They are trying to come up with ways for parents to best support their kids in youth sports.

“Our problem that the students are really trying to work toward solving right now is educating parents in youth sports," Hogenkamp said.

Tickoo and Madichetti said they have heard from students who say it can be difficult dealing with heated, angry parents who shout at the players, coaches or at each other.

“We’ve talked to sixth graders, fifth graders from different schools, and they’re like ‘I don’t like it when my parents scream because it makes me embarrassed and it throws me off of my game,'" Tickoo said.

The students are putting their business sense to the test by coming up with solutions. They are specifically tackling concerns from the NWC Alliance Soccer Club.

Local students convene to discuss how to make youth sporting events safe and enjoyable for everyone.
Local students convene to discuss how to make youth sporting events safe and enjoyable for everyone. (Source: Mason City Schools)

All of the students involved have been divided into groups, and each group is working on a different idea.

One proposed solution is to have parents participate in scrimmages so they know what it is like to be on the field/court.

Another idea is to create a parent contract with productive punishments.

“If the parent says something or does something that the coach feels disrupted the game, insulted another player, insulted their own child, or something like that, then the coach could say ‘alright for our next practice, you’re bringing snacks,'" Madichetti said.

The students are currently perfecting their presentations. In March, they will show them to the soccer club.

“We’re also going to have additional businesses who will be coming in to look at what we are offering so they can model it off themselves," Hodenkamp said. "Maybe a dance studio could look at it. Maybe a youth football program could look at it.”

The students say it is not only a great learning experience, but a way to have a real life impact.

“I really hope that they see some kind of change and maybe someday it’ll spread into other clubs," Madichetti said.

Students will continue meeting on a monthly basis until they make the final presentations.

The soccer club will then pick one of the 10 ideas to put in place.

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