Fifth graders in Math Academy used their imagination, research skills and numbers acumen to create their own imaginary businesses that benefit charities or causes of their choice.
Overall, students were asked how they would spend $1 million. Part of it they could use for themselves to pay for college and for luxury expenses such as a house, car and vacation. Then they contributed $200,000 each in a team of three to start their businesses. Students determined the type of business, the benefitting charity or cause and all the related expenses of running a business such as rent or cost of a location, employee salaries and materials. They had to research and document all the details of their businesses using current real estate listings, store prices and service costs.
Each group created spreadsheets and gave a presentation of their business plan to the class and the Math Academy’s own “shark tank” judges. They made displays for their presentations and included copies of the “checks” they wrote for each expense. The judges gave superlative awards to each group.
GHE Shoes, named for the owners Gabriel, Henry and Emma, sells athletic shoes and uses 50 percent of its proceeds to send first aid, water and books to Puerto Rico. The students determined the size of box needed to send supplies and how much it would cost to ship each box via UPS. The judges selected this project for the Humanitarian Award.
BakPak is an online backpack store that uses its proceeds to send boxes of art supplies to girls in Pakistan. Isabella, Kennedy and Khadeeja devised a process of donation by putting tags on each BakPak backpack, and customers send back the tags if they want to donate proceeds to the art boxes. BakPak won the Best Marketing Award.
PD’s ice cream, run by Evan, John and Strobe, gives a portion of its proceeds to help in the fight against Parkinson’s disease. They spent their money on six ice cream trucks that will travel around neighborhoods, and people with Parkinson’s get a special 30-percent-off discount when they buy ice cream. The judges gave this project the Community Award.
BCB is a bakery found by Bruna, Prescott and Max that gives a part of its proceeds to breast cancer research and awareness. They decided to purchase a location on the Chattanooga Northshore area and hire three employees. Plus, they determined the five types of cupcakes to bake and sell. BCB won the Most Viable Business Award.
Math Academy, which has sections for third, fourth and fifth graders, is taught by Diane Kemp.