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Marketing Classes' Global Project a Success

Students in Melissa Nicholas' Sports and Entertainment Marketing Class worked with marketing students from other high schools to complete an Olympics themed project.

 Sports and Entertainment Marketing class began just like any other day. “Today we are going to begin our Cool Runnings Project. The project is about the 1988 Jamaican Bobsled team, the 2012 Jamaican team, and marketing around the Olympics.” Murmurings could be heard around the room. “This will also be a team project; you and another student will do the required research.” Now the students started looking around for their teammate. “Don’t look to your neighbor; no one in this room will be your partner.” What? How? Who? “Your partner is at another high school”.

This same scenario played out at Forest Hills, Porter Ridge, Marvin Ridge and Parkwood High Schools. The project was a joint effort among four Marketing teachers in Union County.

“We wanted to create a real world project for our students,” said Melissa Nicholas, Forest Hills. “The students were only able to communicate with Google Docs and email. As companies become more global, working on a project with a colleague across the state or across an ocean is a reality.”

To make the project even more complex, students were not in class at the same time, just as if their colleague was in a different time zone. “They had to check their email during lunch and after school,” explained Joellen Plyler from Marvin Ridge. “They had a deadline they had to meet; they had to make it work.”

The project did have some bumps in the road for the teachers. “When you give a project in your own class, you can make adjustments and changes as you see fit,” said Derrick Cook from Porter Ridge. “When you are working with three other schools, you need to make sure everyone is one the same page. We were emailing each other daily, too.”

The students first went to a Google presentation to view the forty-slide project. Then they opened a Google spreadsheet to look up their partner and make contact. They were to establish a plan for completing the project. Then they watched the movie "Cool Runnings," a depiction of the 1988 Jamaican Bobsled team. “Although the movie is a Hollywood version of the real story, which the students also studied, it does give them an idea of why a bobsled team from a tropical country was an anomaly,” said Karen Adcock from Parkwood. “The movie also helps the student understand why the 2012 Jamaican Bobsled team were considered rock stars at the Olympics and why Samsung would sponsor the 2012 Jamaican team.”

Joshua from FHHS was teamed up with Noah from PRHS. Josh said, “I loved the movie, so it made working on the project more interesting.” When asked if he thought it was difficult to work together across a county, he responded, “No, because we were still able to communicate effectively.”

When asked if it was difficult to work with someone he did not know Joshus responded, “Not really, because we both did our part of the assignment.”

A follow-up Google survey allowed the students to comment on the experience and helped the teachers evaluate the effectiveness of the project. In the end the project was a success. As for the 2012 Jamaican bobsled team, they placed 29th in the two-man race. They plan to return in four years to try again.

Written by: Melissa Nicholas, FHHS CTE Marketing Teacher
Posted: Jun 09, 2014 by Judy Davis

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