Smith students learn economics through fair project

by | May 2, 2019 | Education

Damion Anderson, Caleb Murley, Matteo Portal and Christian Tavira sell their wares as the ‘DMCC brothers’. (Jean Ann Collins/PISD Communications)

Smith Elementary 3rd-graders learned a lesson in commerce through their economics fair.

Through the project, students came up with products or services they could offer and developed a marketing plan.

Items included stress balls, lava pens and pencil toppers, as well as mini Fortnite-themed piñatas.

“The coolest part was getting to make something new,” student Lindsey McIntyre said. “I also liked buying the stuff other students made.”

In addition to the design and development phase of the project, the students learned about marketing their products and services, which is a vital part of the business experience.

“I liked how the economics fair gave kids a chance to learn and experience how to handle money and start businesses,” said 3rd-grader Cassie Scott.

In addition to products, the students could offer a service. One student used her self-taught salon skills to braid hair, while another created a “Painting With a Twist” environment where students could pay to use the space and supplies to paint.

Students learned several concepts associated with money.

“I learned how to figure out taxes on goods with fake money,” said 3rd-grader Amberlynn Usrey. “It finally made sense at the economics fair.”

Even the money they spent at the fair was a learning experience.

According to 3rd-grade social studies teacher Amanda Welborn, students are rewarded throughout the school year with school-designed currency that can be spent buying items at the economics fair. For instance, Welborn calls her money “Welborn Bucks.” They earn these fake bucks through a variety of different means, including good deeds and stellar behavior.

“I loved how we ‘shopped until we dropped’ with currency we earned in class, our Welborn bucks,” said student Levi Madden. “I learned about saving, spending and making a profit at the fair. We spent zero dollars making our company and earned $360. I felt like I was the most popular, rich kid in town.”

By Jean Ann Collins • Contributing Writer • [email protected]

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