There seems to be a tremendous amount of potential to create some kind of entrepreneur class by combining the shop, the internet and middle school students. The class would include production, web design, internet sales, shipping and everything that falls under the subject of business management.
I have thought about this for several years and almost started a couple of times. One of my concerns was to find something that could be produced by middle school students that would be worthy of selling to someone other than mom, dad, grandma and the next door neighbor. I have considered wooden toy cars and trucks. In this scenario there would be a new model design each year. This would create the need to add to the collection each year and have repeat business. My fear here is that the pieces are so small that they become dangerous for middle school students to cut. Also, I had hoped to design and produce a toy car or truck with some kind of detail which complicates the process.
We may have found a potential item that can be set up with jigs and safely produced by middle school students. This item would also be marketable. The wooden top could be very marketable and may be worthy of an online e-store. We would individually cut old fashion wooden tops on the wood lathe along with a handle. Each top would be unique or custom built. We could promote them as gourmet tops on the high end of the scale. The world would be our customer. Students could even photograph, film and blog about each individual top that was placed in our online store.
My advisory class has made them the last two years as a Christmas present for their parents. It worked very well and the students stayed involved in the process.
There are several hurdles to clear including scheduling, setting up a legal business, the school's technological ability and curriculum to name a few. Watch the demonstration video below:
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