by Lisa Tome
Bob Barker would be proud of Paige Kilduff. Kilduff, a third grade student at Bainbridge Elementary School, raked in the cash with her version of the Plinko game made popular by Barker on The Price is Right.
Kilduff and her classmates in Amy Holmes' class, spent some the final days of the school year setting up their own projects for a Mini-Society. As the final unit of the year, students studied economics. Part of that study meant creating a business and fine-tuning it in an effort to entice classmates and second graders with the goods and services they offered.
Holmes explained that the students could create their own projects or team up with the friend. They were responsible for creating a commercial to market their business as well as gathering goods to start up. Each student was given a limit of $5 for getting their business started.
On marketing days, the businesses were set up in the school cafeteria. Other students were issued play money, called Bainbridge Bucks, to support their favorite businesses.
Kilduff took in $122 in Bainbridge Bucks over the two days she was in business with the Plinko game. She spent $5 buying materials and prizes, which were Jolly Rancher candies. Kilduff said the idea was taken from a friend. "Last year, my friend's sister did it," Kilduff said of her Plinko game.
Andrew Greene made puppet bookmarks. He took in 52 Bainbridge Bucks as profit. "I wish I had done a board game," said Greene.
Ariana Fetters' business kept her hands busy. She made personalized beaded bracelets. Her start up cost was minimal because she already had the beads. Her only financial outlay was string and a sign board. She collected 40 Bainbridge Bucks.
Amber Baker and Skylar Gregson teamed up and headed outdoors to start their business. The pair collected and cleaned rocks. They then created pet rocks. They sold $72 worth of them.
Holmes said the Mini-Society is filled with surprises. "I'm always surprised with the ideas they come up with. And I'm always surprised with what is successful," said Holmes. She also said that after the first day in business, the students are allowed to make adjustments or even change their concept for the second day.
Charisa Kraus retooled her business plan after day one. She was selling pictures and necklaces. On the second day, she changed and offered a free game. Winners could take the art pictures and also had an option to buy.
Brandon Meinhaldt learned that there can be penalties to running a business. He was generous with candy prizes on the first day of business. By the second day he was out of candy and had to buy more.
He had to forfeit $10 in Bainbridge Bucks for exceeding the $5 start up limit.