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Business Classes Earn Profits for Haiti

Students work on the assembly of their duct tape bracelets.

7th Grade Business students in Mrs. Patti Griffin’s classes at Piedmont Middle School applied their knowledge and skill to design, produce, and market their own product; duct tape bracelets with velcro. These students learned many 21st century skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, developing and testing ideas, innovation, collaboration, and communication.

Since there are so many different varieties of Duck Brand duct tape, students performed Consumer Surveys to determine the types of tape to start with and entered the data in a Google Docs spreadsheet. Students also spent a day researching non-profit businesses to decide where to donate their profit. They reached an agreement that the money was most needed in Haiti to help provide clean drinking water. After creating a business plan to present to PTA for a grant to finance the business, students also asked Dr. Anne Radke, principal of PDMS, for the start-up cost of $50.

In both business classes, students applied for a job in Production, Quality Control, or Marketing and began production the next day. During the sale and manufacturing of the duct tape bracelets students learned the process of supply and demand and the “hands on” applications of a real-world business. The two classes also had a competition against each other to see who could create the most quantitative, least defective product, with an ice cream party as a reward.

Marketing students created posters to display around the school and appeared on WPDM school broadcast to motivate students to purchase the high-quality bracelets for a good cause. Also, the entire school viewed a video of adults and most importantly, children in Haiti, who are in dire need of clean water and the effects of contaminated water to the country.

After only eight day of sales, students produced and sold 1,092 duct tape bracelets! With the addition of two monetary donations and the deduction of expenses, the partnership profited $1,081!

Pablo Martinez, a partner in the business, adds “I learned how partners need to agree on things and that owning a business can be difficult but fun”.

The last day of classes, students learned the accounting process, agreed to reinvest the PTA grant for the next business venture, and viewed a video of working conditions in China factories while they enjoyed their success of the business, helping provide Haiti with clean water, and eating ice cream!

Written by: Patti Griffin, 7th grade Business Teacher
Posted: Oct 18, 2012 by Karen Barbee

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