Lockney students learn economics lessons firsthand at fair
LOCKNEY – Karmicheal Ramos has been shopping with his parents before, but he’ll likely think differently about the process in future trips, thanks to a recent activity with the Students in Free Enterprise team at Wayland Baptist University.
SIFE students led Ramos and his fellow Lockney Elementary fifth graders in the basic lessons of entrepreneurship recently, culminating in an economics fair held Friday, April 7 in the school gym.
During the event, all 42 fifth-grade students set up booths to sell their products or services developed as part of the exercise to learn more about the economics process. Food items, clothing items, jewelry and other items dotted the tables as students tried to walk away with the most profit from the fair. Approximately 250 people came through the fair, including many parents and students from Lockney High School.
The fair was the hands-on end to a gathering held a few weeks earlier in which the economics lessons were introduced.
“We piled all the students into one big classroom and taught them the basic concepts of entrepreneurship, the difference between selling products and services, profit and loss, marketing and advertising, supply costs and how people come up with ideas of products to sell,” explained Stephanie Clements, SIFE president at Wayland and a junior business major.
At the close, students were assigned the task of developing something to sell at the fair and come up with a way to market their product or service.
“He had a hard time deciding what to make,” said Priscilla Ramos, Karmicheal’s mother. “We already had beads, so he decided to make keychains and just had to buy the rings.”
Mrs. Ramos said she was impressed with the lessons her son learned and how he handled the assignment.
“He wanted to be responsible and do it all without any help. Most of all, he had to learn that he was responsible for making the money, and he had to be good about selling his things,” she said. “He had to really think about how much stuff costs and how to budget for a business.”
Those kind of lessons are what Clements and her fellow SIFE team members are hoping for, and the reason they conduct the economics fair annually. The group hopes to expand into the Plainview I.S.D. and Hale Center I.S.D. next year with the same lessons. Since the lessons cover some of the TEKS essentials for fifth grade, the economics fair is also a helpful reinforcement for important skills.
Clements said the exercise works wonders to really open the students’ eyes up to the realities of business and enterprise.
“I think they get a better understanding of how supply and demand works, figuring out what sells well and what doesn’t,” she said. “It’s a hands-on experience, and sometimes unless they actually get to do it on their own they don’t grasp the concept.”
The SIFE team plans to revisit the Lockney school next week and give a post-test to determine what the students learned from the fair experience. They also plan to give out prizes to the top three “businesses” based on profits earned.
Students in Free Enterprise is a national organization of students promoting business, ethics, entrepreneurship, financial health and other important skills. Wayland’s SIFE team completes several projects annually aimed at promoting these skills to fellow WBU students and the community at large.