Education Matters

Student story: My experience learning about economics

Posted by Trinity Grammar School on Jul 28, 2018 6:00:00 AM

By Aiden Ngo, Year 5, Preparatory School

Student story: My experience learning about economicsLast week, Year 5 finished the incredible journey that was Market Day. Market Day is a three-week project where we have to make a plan about how we are going to execute a market stall; creating a product to sell at the gym for a profit. We were put with people we wouldn’t normally work with so that we would experience what it feels like to work without established friends.

The first part of the project was to create a plan, which was tough. We all had to agree on it and there were lots of ideas, but we couldn’t execute them all. That made some people in our group upset, but we got through. We decided to make gaming merchandise and called ourselves ‘Flamin Gamin.’ After that we had to create everything we needed, not only product (box heads, stress balls and other items related to video games), but posters and banners, decorations, and a money box. The most challenging part was the actual Market Day because we had to work with customers. This meant we had to socialise, convince and help them enjoy the experience. That was hard for me, as I was bad with socialising.

My highlight was decorating the stall. It was fun because we could decorate it with anything we wanted, and we got to use our creativity. I even made a couple of signs which I thought were interesting because they influenced the consumer to buy certain products.

Why did we do this? We did this to experience how a business worked. We had to apply business aspects, like supply and demand. Supply is how much stock you have, and demand is how much people want the product. I was worried that the demand would be low, and no-one would want our products.

If you have high demand, you raise the prices. If the supply is low, you raise the prices. If the demand is low and supply is high, you lower the price. This aspect applies in the real world. If you were a customer and you wanted to buy something, depending on how much you need it, you would buy it, but only at a certain price. If you don’t want it desperately, you would offer a lower price than if you were desperate. We also had to work on the quality of the product.

Quality of the product matters, because no-one would want it if it was scruffy. We also had to mass-produce them, because if you focus on quality only, there wouldn’t be enough to sell to make a good profit. If that wasn’t enough, if you have a really good product, all the products have to be that same standard, otherwise your customers won’t be satisfied.

One of the toughest challenges was to actually run the stand. You need your stall to appeal to the customers, which we did by using our creativity to create an aspect that none of the other stalls had, so that people would be interested. There were so many stalls that it was nearly impossible to differ from the other stalls.

My group made a $143 profit, which, in my opinion, was not a good profit. I think that part of the reason we got this profit was because we didn’t have enough products to sell, so we didn’t make enough money. We also weren’t consistent with our product quality, so some people got better product than others, and that made customers upset.

One thing that we should have done, was create a product that was easier to mass-produce. We also needed to create our plan earlier and quicker than we did, so we could have made more products. We also should not have set our standards so high, because we constantly had to reach those standards, and if we slipped, the quality was noticeable to everyone. One of the biggest slips was to create products which were expensive to make. That was why we couldn’t make a lot of product. Next time we would choose a product which is cheap to make.

Market Day has a huge relationship to the real world. We had to spend countless hours making product, having an idea on how to run a business. There is one big difference with Market Day and the real world – people are supposed to be paid in wages for their job. With our profit, we would not have had enough money to pay people wages for their time. With $143 profit, if we had to pay people $10 an hour, working at 40 hours altogether, that would be $400 dollars, and we would have made a huge loss. This relates to the rest of the unit.

We learned that workers who harvest bananas get only one cent per banana, and 40 percent of bananas picked get thrown away because the shop only accepts certain bananas. This is like Market Day. You can work countless hours and all you get is a couple dollars.

There are chickens which are trapped in tiny cages (they can’t even stretch their wings!) and they lay eggs, and the farmers can afford to sell the eggs at one dollar less than those from chickens who can run freely. Buying caged eggs shows that we support those chickens being in those cages. We have a responsibility as customers. We should think about what we buy. Those people who are working get only one cent, just to get those bananas to the shop. Those chickens are trapped in 26cm cages just so that eggs are sold at a cheaper price. We should think, and I now think. We have a responsibility as a business and as a customer.

This is my experience learning about economics at Market Day.

For over a hundred years Trinity Grammar School has educated boys in mind, body and spirit. Our mission is to provide a thoroughly Christian education for boys from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12, imparting knowledge and understanding of the world we live in, and recognising the importance of spiritual qualities in every sphere of learning.

In the primary years, the boys’ needs are met by a differentiated, inquiry based curriculum, delivered by motivated, creative and caring classroom teachers using exceptional facilities and resources. At the core of this is the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) which guides boys to become independent inquiry learners. The PYP, for students from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 6, focuses on the development of the whole child, in the classroom and also in the world outside. It offers a framework that meets the academic, social, physical, emotional and cultural needs of each child.

Your son will be able to pursue his own interests and make meaningful connections with what he is learning to his home, the community and the world. This breadth of experience will help him to become a socially conscious, internationally-minded, independent learner. To learn more about how the PYP gives your son ownership of his learning to develop his research and critical thinking skills, download our PYP brochure.

PYP brochure download

Topics: Improve learning, Education, International Baccalaureate