Estes Entrepreneurs Sell Success

As a Leader in Me school, William W. Estes Elementary always looks for exciting new ways to help students develop strategies for lifelong success.

As the school year wrapped up, Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) Specialist Donalyn Small used a hands-on, immersive project to teach fourth grade students about entrepreneurship. She challenged them to come up with a business idea, create products, market test them with fellow students, and learn from their customers.

“They thought about things they were passionate about and what other kids might like as well,” she said. “And that’s how they made their decisions about what to make.”

The project ended with an Entrepreneur Fair in the Estes media center on May 31 and June 2. There were a variety of kid-oriented items on offer, from homemade slime to glittery posters to a beanbag toss game to crocheted bookmarks.

Fourth graders Dax, Michael, and Caleb designed rubber band bracelets, because they were easy to make, popular with their peers, and easy to wear.

“We tried a lot of different colors, and we were surprised by how many kids wanted to buy them,” Dax said. “We did really well – we sold out!”

Stella and Sophia made splatter art posters with gaming themes (like Roblox and Fortnite) and inspirational words (Believe, Love, and Create). Their posters practically flew off the table.

“A lot of people liked our stuff and wanted to buy it,” Stella said. “It’s art, but even the boys wanted to buy the game posters, so that was really cool. People like different things, so it was a good idea to make different posters for different people.”

The students sold about $1,300 of merchandise and planned to donate net profits to a local charity.

“Some of the kids needed to borrow money from their parents to make their products,” Ms. Small said. “So that let us talk about loans, interest, profits, and reinvestment. It was a great opportunity for them to discover other basic business concepts, like demographic research and market testing. The kids were really excited to lead their own learning with this project.”