Any business owner knows that it would be impossible to start a business with only $25 in start-up funds. But third-grade students at Running Creek Elementary did just that, and sold their …
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Any business owner knows that it would be impossible to start a business with only $25 in start-up funds. But third-grade students at Running Creek Elementary did just that, and sold their one-of-a-kind products at the school’s second annual third-grade expo, to raise money for Children’s Hospital Colorado.
The Expo is the result of the economics unit curriculum, which teaches students how to start a business, and all the steps necessary to fund a start-up, create a product, market the product and ultimately sell the product for a profit. Teachers Sarah Gates, Shauna Agee and Michelle Jones led the students, who are ages 8 and 9, through the process of starting their own business, with each student being allowed only $25 to begin with.
“All the kids need business plans based on different ideas they came up with that they might sell to other elementary students,” said Gates. “We sent the kids home with service receipts, and they did extra chores at home to earn the start-up costs, which couldn’t exceed $25 per student.”
Teachers used the start-up money to purchase the materials for students to make their products, which included homemade slime, para cord bracelets, crayons recycled into unique shapes and colors, stress balls, keychains and door decorations. When purchasing materials students learned about taxes, budgeting and profits.
“The kids came up with their own unique ideas,” said Agee. “They had such wonderful ideas. One student sold a paper airplane that has an army man attached to a parachute with it. One group melted down used crayons and reshaped them and made new colors.”
Last year, students sold their goods at a one-day expo held at the school, where students and parents could wander through and purchase items. Due to COVID, the expo was held over three days this year, to allow for smaller groups of only students to attend. According to the teachers, COVID restrictions actually offered more learning opportunities than last year.
“Because of COVID we had to look more at how to market the products this year,” said Agee. “Each group made short commercials, which they had to write and act in, that were aired on their Google Classroom. They also made slideshows of their product, and we made a paper catalog as well.”
Students also had to figure out how to deliver items that were ordered, using their afternoons to visit the classrooms of students who purchased their products.
“COVID has definitely made us think about how some of the things we implemented this year will be useful next year,” said Gates.
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