Skip to main content

A global experience from Phoenix's West Valley

High school students engage in hands-on projects at ASU's Thunderbird summer camp

July 28, 2016

While other teenagers were playing the latest smartphone game, a group of high schoolers came to Arizona State University earlier this month to create business plans.

The students were in the Thunderbird Summer Global Experience camp and during the first of three weeklong sessions, they learned about sports marketing by creating a mock product and a plan to sell it.

“I know everyone says this, but ours really is the best,” Nihal Aradhymath, (pictured at top) a student at BASIS Phoenix High School, said during the presentation to market his team’s product — a natural energy supplement.

“Support your joints, and they’ll support you!” said Darby Watters, who created a proposal to sell compression braces for injured knees and ankles that can be custom decorated. Watters, who goes to Madison Highland Prep in Phoenix, excelled at a business class in school and was inspired to learn about marketing, so she decided to attend the Thunderbird camp.

The Thunderbird Summer Global Experience is new this year. The day camp is run at ASU's West campus in Glendale by Global LaunchGlobal Launch is the ASU organization that provides intensive English courses for international students and other kinds of global outreach., and includes low-cost or free initiatives that are intended to engage the community with ASU, according to Linda Hill, program coordinator for Global Launch.

“It’s a campaign to increase programs that ASU offers in the Glendale area and to give prospective students a chance to experience the ASU campus in a way they wouldn’t otherwise,” Hill said.

Sejal Shanbhag works with her partners, Justin Rudick and Bradley Lehmann, on their presentation at the Thunderbird Summer Global Experience at West campus. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now

Some of the Thunderbird programs have a global flavor. Children who are already attending the Sun Devil Fitness Camp at West campus have had weekly Thunderbird sessions in flag-making and Peruvian music and dance.

Another program is called “Passport to Brazil,” in which Thunderbird Summer Global Experience staff are offering two-hour cultural activities to kids in camps run by the Boys and Girls Clubs.

The day camp for high school juniors and seniors featured guest speakers and hands-on projects, such as developing a social media campaign.

Sejal Shanbhag, who attends Desert Mountain High School, said her school canceled a business class she wanted, so she signed up for the camp, where she worked on marketing a football helmet that scans the head for injury. Her partners were Justin Rudick, who goes to Pinnacle High School, and Bradley Lehmann, a student at Boulder Creek High School.

“I realized that during the summer I would probably get a little stir crazy,” Lehmann said. “It was good to work with other people.”

Top photo: Nihal Aradhymath, a student at BASIS Phoenix, gives his sports marketing presentation at the Thunderbird Summer Global Experience camp at West campus. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now.

More Business and entrepreneurship


Thomas Choi in sunglasses, smiling with arms folded, standing in front of building reading "W. P. Carey School of Business."

Top faculty honor has ASU professor flying high

Arizona State University Professor Thomas Choi considers the complex aspects of supply chain networks and often sounds like a philosophy teacher. Take this analogy, for example: Choi likens the V-…

Group of students pose for a photo onstage with screens reading "ASU Innovation Open Awards Show" in the background and ASU mascot Sparky in the middle.

ASUio sparks innovation inferno among student entrepreneurs

​Innovation, accessibility and sustainability took center stage at the 2024 Arizona State University Innovation Open. Technology innovation and entrepreneurship were on full display at the event,…

Poster with various colorful words having to do with business on it.

Inaugural biz school competition drives collaboration across Arizona universities

Business in the state of Arizona today finds itself poised for massive growth, with industries like solar power, autonomous transportation and electric vehicle manufacturing bringing unprecedented…