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Classroom Happenings: Entrepreneurs in Training

The Steward School
Mini-Economy Market Day

Spartans know that there is no limit to their creativity. Inside and outside the classroom, students are encouraged to try new things, dream, and innovate. In big ways and small, every Spartan plays a role in moving the world forward. 

Steward’s annual Mini-Economy Market Day exemplifies Spartan ingenuity. The much-anticipated event caps off weeks of lessons that encourage fourth graders to think strategically about finance and entrepreneurship. After studying the basics of microeconomics, students design, manufacture, and plan the sales of their very own products. Retired grade 4 teacher Chris Tickle, who taught at Steward for 20 years, returned to campus this year to once again teach fourth graders about microeconomics.

Students were given an $8 budget to spend on materials to create an original product, and they conducted market research to learn how to price their products accordingly. The budding entrepreneurs then brought in prototypes of their products, considered several price points, and surveyed their peers to get data on the possibilities of sales at these different prices. 

On February 29, our young creatives gathered in the Bryan Innovation Lab, where they displayed and sold their original items to classmates, faculty, and staff, who were each given 20 Spartan Bucks to spend. Visitors were greeted by fourth graders standing proudly behind brightly decorated tables that held a variety of wares: papier maché party hats festooned in blue-and-gold paint, hand-crafted picture frames, sweet-smelling crayons called “smayons” … even Steward-centric stickers! Visitors to Mini-Economy Market Day could also use their Spartan Bucks to play student-invented games or to get their faces painted. 

Ana Hunte ’32 and a friend teamed up for their Mini-Economy Market Day project. 

“We chose face painting because we wanted something unique that no one else would think of,” said Ana, who was happily surprised to see a long line of students eagerly waiting to get their faces painted. The Mini-Economy Market Day project, she noted, taught her that “we had to be adaptable with our prices. Sometimes we had to raise our prices so we would not feel rushed. Sometimes we had to lower our prices to keep our business going.”

Fourth-grade Teachers Marsh Hayes, Janell Kauffman, and Sade Silver are duly impressed with their students’ hard work. 

“In witnessing the dedication, ingenuity, and teamwork displayed by students throughout the project, I am not only inspired but immensely proud to see their growth and accomplishments as they charted their entrepreneurial journeys,” said Ms. Kauffman. 

View the Steward Snaps from Mini-Economy Market Day.

General Contact

The Steward School
11600 Gayton Road
Richmond, VA 23238

phone: (804) 740-3394
fax: (804) 740-1464

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