Thunderbird Students to host economics fair to wrap SIFE lesson

PLAINVIEW – Fourth graders from Thunderbird Elementary will host an economics fair on Friday, Dec. 1, to sell their wares, the culmination in a series of lessons on entrepreneurship from the Students in Free Enterprise team at Wayland Baptist University. The public is welcome to attend the fair, slated for 1:30-3:30 p.m. in the school cafeteria.

The fair will feature products or services the elementary students have developed after a few lessons from Wayland students on how to start a business, create a product and market that product.

“We go to the schools about two weeks out and teach them about starting a business and terms like profit and investment,” said Alyssa Barrett, a junior SIFE member from Plainview who has helped coordinate the project. “We teach them the principals of making a product and making people interested in the product.”

The lesson involves advertising and marketing as students must determine how to get the interest of students, parents and teachers who will attend the fair and sell their product. They make posters, buttons and other items to market their creations.

“They don’t to invent something new; they can make cookies or lollipops or whatever,” said Alexis Hall, a freshman SIFE member from Lockney who was part of the high school group last year. “One kid last year actually brought his Play Station and sold five-minute time slots to play games. It’s really neat to see what they come up with.”

Hall, who is project coordinator for the economics fair, said the event is her favorite SIFE activity because it gets students interested in business and teaches them important skills.

“It’s a hands-on project and not just us telling them how to sell a product,” she said. “They get so much enjoyment out of making things themselves and making posters. It’s fun seeing all the kids get involved and the teachers and parents, too.

“It’s neat to see how much they learn too. We give a pre-test and a post-test and ask the same questions. Most of the time, they learn quite a bit because they get to do stuff rather than just memorizing facts.”

Hall said the students keep the profits from the economic fair and the SIFE team returns later to help them all complete a profit-and-loss statement to determine how they fared. She added the team hopes to do two more economics fairs next semester at different schools.