Trumbull County middle schoolers work together to create new flavors for Pizza Joe’s

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The president of Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley, which oversaw the project, said these students are learning more than just how to make a pizza

CHAMPION TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – Three new pizzas will be coming to a Pizza Joe’s near you, thanks to recipes created by local students.

Trumbull County sixth graders are getting a taste of what it takes to create the perfect pizza — beyond the dough, cheese and sauce.

“A lot of it is about creativity and just giving them an outlet to utilize the education tools they’re gaining in their own classrooms, but then applying them to a real-world situation,” said Katie Detoro, with Pizza Joe’s.

Junior Achievement of Mahoning County teamed up with Pizza Joe’s for its JA Innovation Challenge. More than 100 middle schoolers had the chance to create and execute their idea for a new pizza. It was a project that came with research.

The top six teams will make a final pitch to the head of Pizza Joe’s.

“They’re learning about the financial aspect of what it is to develop a product and then a sales pitch, and making sure they’re doing things appropriately for their intended market, which is people their own age,” Detoro said.

Teams that took the top three spots will have their pizza on Pizza Joe’s menu for a limited time. Their pies will also be sold at a community day.

The proceeds from the pizza sales will benefit a scholarship fund set up at the Trumbull County Educational Service Center.

Michele Merkel, president of Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley, said the lessons these students will walk away with are more than just how to make pizza.

“We want students to learn, to collaborate, to work together, to come up with new ideas, different ways of doing things.”

A team from Lakeview came in first with its “Fresh & Fruity” pizza. Second place went to Lordstown’s “The Farm House BLT” and Howland’s “Chipotle Pizza” got third.

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