CMS Summer Program Gets Down to Business at SummerFest
Students are getting down to business this July at Chatham Middle School’s entrepreneurship-themed summer learning experience, Shark Tank Summer Academy. As their first challenge, students were given just four days to come up with a plan to generate money for charity at this year’s Chatham SummerFest, the Village’s annual downtown street festival.
Students broke into five business groups, their mission: to work as a team to solve real world business problems and see which group could make the most profit! The students created business plans that utilized all the resources and talents of their team members and took into account any number of factors that could affect their profits; like who attends SummerFest? What other businesses will be trying to make money there? What supplies would they need to make their ideas work and how much will they cost? How would they attract customers? As part of their plan, each group came up with a different fundraising event; some devised carnival style games of skill like Ring Toss, Soccer Goal Kick, and Bean Bag Toss, while others chose to host a bake sale or sell Kool-Aid and lemonade. They then scripted sales pitches and catch phrases to call out to the crowd and draw people in.
At SummerFest on July 9th, they arrived at 9:30 a.m. to set up in front of the Morris Memorial and were ready to do business during a set period from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Perhaps you were one of the many customers the students attracted? Their two hours yielded a total of $417.00!
The CMS Shark Tank Summer Academy runs daily throughout July and is open to students entering grades six through eight. In addition to business challenges, students are also focusing on English Language Arts skills by reading fiction and non-fiction books about running a business. Each student is assigned their own Chromebook to use while at the Academy and to keep a digital journal of their business adventures on. They write a reflection of their learning each day using Google Drive, which allows them to share their entries and give feedback to other students digitally.
Their next challenge involves collaborating with a local business for another fund-raising project. All proceeds that the students earn this summer will go to benefit the Columbia Land Conservancy.