Virtual marketplace for students
June 11, 2020
An annual business project that students started before schools closed in March, finished virtually this week.
“Fifth-grade students left school in March, having already decided on their products and businesses,” said Kate Gallucci. “Remotely, we continued to work on business ideas including sales, marketing, advertising, and pricing.”
Gallucci is the fifth-grade teacher who organizes the TREP$ Marketplace each year for students at Patrick M. Villano School. It took place online this year, due to schools being closed from concerns about COVID-19.
“Once we received word that an in-person TREP$ Marketplace would need to be cancelled, we decided to give our entrepreneurs a chance to still share their ideas, innovations, and creativity through a virtual TREP$ Marketplace,” Gallucci said.
TREP$ is short for enTREPreneur$. According to the TREP$ website, it is a “project-based learning program that teaches kids in grades 4-8 how to start their own businesses. They learn the lessons in classroom or after school workshops, and apply them at home as they build their businesses with the support of their families. The whole school community comes out to enjoy the TREP$ Marketplace, held right at the school, where the young entrepreneurs launch their businesses together.”
Although some promising young business owners admit they were disappointed about not having an in-person showcase, most were happy to share their ideas and products online. Products include painted inspirational rocks, decorated tranquility bottles, and personalized cartoon drawings.
“Our school participates in TREP$ to learn about starting businesses,” said fifth-grader Jacqueline Astimbay. “The students learn from TREP$. I say this because it gives us the opportunity to be a business owner and learn ways to profit and losses of money.”
Students created a mini-commercial about their product using Flipgrid. Flipgrid is a popular online video tool for students to show their work. The mini-commericals were shared within the school community this week.
“Some student business owners made their products already, and are hoping to sell them in other locations, including on facebook, or to friends and family. Other 5th graders are hoping to sell in the future, when we are back to normal,” Gallucci explained. “Whether or not they actually sell anything, all 5th graders should be proud of their ideas and business plans!”