North Shore Marketplace

A story-centered curriculum for forward-thinking schools.

Overview

Summary

The proposed project, termed North Shore Marketplace, would divide the students up into separate product design teams. Each team would be working to design a different project in one of four categories. Product categories could include a board game, a food or drink item, an article of clothing or jewelry, and a musical cassette tape or compact disc. Over the course of the week, each company would take the product from concept phase, to actual manufacturing and production, to marketing and advertising, and, in the end, would display and sell their products in a North Shore Marketplace.

Project Value

Not only is the project fun for the students, it has enormous value in other ways. Because it is such a large project, it can teach many things at once and do it in a way that is fun. The project has value in that it creates a tangible product, strengthens bonds among students, sharpens creativity, hones writing skills, and practices math and logistics.

Tangible Product

At the end of the project, students actually create something tangible to take home. By having this tangible goal there is a large incentive to do good work, and learn from your mistakes. Students should have fun because they are creating something that they want, something that they themselves would buy.

Strengthens Social Bonds

Because students are split up into groups of people from different grades and different classes, they have the opportunity to work with people who they wouldn’t be able to previously. Also, the students will have to join together as a team to complete the project, strengthening teamwork and leadership skills.

Creativity

This project gives students immense creative freedom. Students are required to come up with a entirely new product essentially from scratch. Although students do have some guidelines, they come up with most of the product on their own. There will of course be teachers available to provide help and move the group through the hard parts.

Writing

Students have the opportunity to practice their writing skills in the project also. They will need to write a manual and instructions for their project, as well as write ads and promotional material. Students will learn how to bring out the strengths of their products and write things that show off their work.

Math and Logistics

Students are also required to budget for their project. Each group will be given so much to start out with, along with estimated costs for portions of the project. They will have to decide how to best budget the money for maximum utility. Also, students will need to work with quantities to find out how much raw material they need to purchase, and the cheapest way to process it. Groups can work together to attempt to save money by receiving bulk discounts.

Project Flow

The entire project would take five days. These days could be held consecutively, in a week long program, or could be spread out over several weeks. The latter option would allow teachers and students time in between to plan out and work on the next phase of the project. Each day would be focused on one day of the product development. The days are divided as follows:

Day 1: Concept

Students create the basic concept of their product. They are given basic guidelines to work from, but must create the plan for the product themselves. Groups would meet by category to share ideas and make sure they had different products. For example, those making clothing or jewelry would decide what type to make and what it might look like.

Day 2: Design

Students create the physical design and plans for the product they created. This includes not only a mockup of the product itself, but also materials for packaging and documentation. Groups would meet as individual product design teams to plan the design for their own product. For example, those creating a board game would create the rules and the design of the board and pieces.

Day 3: Manufacturing

Students have the opportunity to actually produce the product they designed previously. Groups will work with teachers to actually manufacture and produce the product. Groups who have similar products can share the manufacturing tasks. Enough should be made for everyone on the team to be able to have their own. For example, the food/drink group would cook and mix the food items and put them in their containers.

Day 4: Marketing

Students, now that they have a product, can begin to market it. An advertising campaign should be created including a logo and slogan, television and print ads, flyers, and more. Students should decide who their target market is, and what stores are the best places to sell the product. Groups will meet with teachers to think up and design the marketing for their individual product. For example, the musical group might create a music video to help promote their CD.

Day 5: Sales

Students can now actually sell their product in the North Shore Marketplace. Students also have to the opportunity to view the other products. Parents and the rest of the school are invited to see the students present and possibly sell their products in a setting somewhat similar to a Science Fair.

Product Categories

Products are in four basic categories: a board game, a food or drink item, an article of clothing or jewelry, and a musical cassette tape or compact disc. These categories would impose some restrictions on what students can and cannot do but are open enough to foster creativity.

Board Game

Students produce a board game. This can be a completely new concept, or be based upon a game which is already popular, like Monopoly. Students create all the terms and concepts for the game, and whatever story or theme is needed. Board games should consist of a board, several game pieces, rules and directions, and packaging for the game.

Food/Drink Item

Students design a food or drink item to produce and sell. Ideally, the item should be something made from easily available products, yet still be creative in their use. One example would be to design a new type of juice by mixing together other types of juices or flavorings. Students also should create a packaging for the product with labels, nutrition facts, and ingredients.

Clothing/Jewelry

Students design an article of clothing or jewelry. Students must decide what type (i.e. a shirt, earrings, a dress, etc.) and what it should look like and say. Decisions must be made about color, a logo, if it has any special look, or says anything special. Decisions must be made about the current fashion, and how popular such an item would be. The item can then be produced using available materials. A t-shirt can be easily purchased, with slogans or messages painted or printed on.

Musical Group

Students would work with a music teacher to write and perform several songs for a musical group. Students with strong musical talent should be placed in this group. Lyrics and score must be written and performed. The music can be recorded and burned or copied onto CDs or cassettes. Additionally, a music video can be created to help promote the group along with the design of posters and the cases for the CDs and tapes.

Student/Teacher Involvement

Students will be divided up into eight or nine design teams of ten to twelve students each. Approximately two teams will work on each type of product. This allows students to work with their own product design teams, but also collaborate with other teams in the concept, manufacturing, and of course, sales phases. Teachers will work with each group, and with each phase. Obviously teachers with expertise in one area will work with that group or phase (i.e. the music teacher would work with the musical group). Willing parents can also help out with the project.

Conclusion

Although the project is obviously far from completely planned out, this proposal provides a good basis to begin working. The project needs to be planned out in much greater detail before being run, and this will be done.

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