Young entrepreneurs demonstrate their business acumen


January 31, 2001|By Heather Tepe | Heather Tepe,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

FIFTH-GRADERS at Clemens Crossing Elementary School learned about supply and demand, goods vs. services, and accounting practices in preparation for their Economics Fair held this month.

Gifted and Talented Program resource teacher Nancy Kapp designed the curriculum, which encouraged the class to develop goods or services they would sell to other children in the school.

"The students were so creative," Kapp said. "I was very impressed."

The children were allowed to use any materials they had in developing their businesses, and they were limited to spending $5 on new materials.

They were allowed to borrow the money for start-up costs from their families, but they had to sign a loan agreement. The money to repay the loans was taken from proceeds of the fair.

Kapp said the event raised almost $1,700.

Stephen Sowers, Michael Limsam and Jeremy Joseph created a video of bicycle, skateboard and Rollerblade bloopers for their business. "It was the talk of the school," Kapp said.

Stephen said he figured that the video would be a hit because "little kids sometimes like to see people falling down," he said.

The boys spent three days filming their staged stunts.

"It looks painful, but it really wasn't at all," Stephen said.

The end of the video included a clip of Stephen saying, "Thanks for watching and, please, don't try this at home."

The three young entrepreneurs made more than $100 with their business.

"With your $1 admission, you got free popcorn," Stephen said. "I think that's how come we got so many people to come, because of the popcorn."

Melodie Bowler and Jocelyn Papciak made 20 pinatas for their booth. The pinatas originally sold for $1 or $2, but, Melodie said, "I learned about supply and demand. If your supply is low, raise the prices." When the girls were down to their last five piM-qatas, they raised their prices by 50 cents.

"They all sold out," Melodie said.

Other businesses included a pet rock booth, developed by Scott Moran; a balloon animal booth run by Anthony Pede and Philip Sandborn; and a stand selling Hawaiian baskets, handmade by Kirstin van der Gracht and Heather Lemire.

"The most important thing I learned was that being a salesperson is not easy," Kirstin said. "It's difficult because you've got so much competition."

Kapp said the children will write letters to Clemens Crossing Principal Arlene Mindus to recommend ways to spend profits from the fair.

Geography bee winners

Can you name the valley that is the most densely populated area of Germany and is also that country's center for iron and steel production?

Chances are that many children at Clemens Crossing Elementary know the answer is the Ruhr Valley.

Fourth- and fifth-graders participated in the school's Geography Bee championship Jan. 8. The competition is sponsored by the National Geographic Society.

At the school level, the winner was Joshua Deutschmann. Eileen Griffin was runner-up, and Erin Forest and Katie Stoker tied for third place.

Other finalists were Hannah Gramling, Jeremy Joseph, Michael Limsam, Erik May, Niranjan Murali and David Wessner.

Fifth-grade teacher Pam Benya coordinated the event, which tested children's knowledge of geographical terms, world capitals and international cultures.

After his victory, Joshua took a written test to try to advance to the state level of competition.

Results from that test will be available in March.

Puppet show

The Wilde Lake Community Association's Rainbow Theater and Dinorock Productions will present a puppet show, "Dinosaur Babies," on Feb. 9.

Performances will be held at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tickets should be purchased in advance and cost $4. Group rates are available.

Information: 410-730-3987.

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