A group of 140 sixth-grade students from Battle Ground Middle School took on roles as citizens, workers and consumers of BizTown. The Junior Achievement program is an interactive, simulated town that's located in the new Lafayette YMCA complex.
Family and Consumer Science (FACS) teacher Aliya Scott says her students enjoyed taking on more responsibility and working together to improve their 21st-century skills. "This included problem solving such as motivating each member of their team to perform to the best of their ability from the mail carrier to the CFO," says Scott.
Students learned the difference between debit and credit cards, how to balance a checkbook and how to endorse a check. The one-day economic simulation gave students a hands-on opportunity to see how the economy works.
Sixth-grade student Emma Kelsey enjoyed her role as a marketing specialist for GE Aviation. "My favorite part was working with other students that I don't get to see often," Emma says. She used her communication skills to sell small model planes to other students that helped her business make a profit.
Scott says the most important takeaway for the students is that real work is hard. "Some students even made comments about how much they now appreciate what their parents do for them," says Scott. "BizTown really enhances my curriculum. Students are learning to work together, problem solve, use manipulatives and critical thinking—all skills necessary for work and career readiness.