“It takes a lot more planning to put together a food stand than I imagined,” shares Laura Fabri about a recent school social studies project. “We have to prepare more than just the product we are going to sell and the selling itself. …Offering a good service can count more than having a good product because clients are happier and feel more welcome when we are nice and gentle, when we pay attention to them!”
These are invaluable lessons for anyone interested in business, service, or entrepreneurship. Laura, a Dual Diploma high school student at Colégio Objetivo (Maringá, PR) learned these lessons and more in her class “Mizzou Meal” project.
Dual Diploma Program
Laura is currently pursuing both a high school diploma from the University of Missouri High School and a high school diploma from her local school. As a third year Dual Diploma student, she is taking marketing and economics through Mizzou Academy.
In their Dual Diploma classes, students follow a curriculum written and evaluated by Mizzou Academy faculty. While the Mizzou Academy faculty delight in receiving student assignments, giving feedback, and building relationships with the students and schools, they are always quick to say that it is the classroom teachers who bring the curriculum to life.
“A Standout Teacher”
Jeff Kopolow, lead teacher for the social studies courses in the Dual Diploma program, is consistently impressed with Catherine Oda’s creative approaches to make the content come alive.
Mr. Kopolow shares that “Ms Catherine Oda is an absolute standout among the cadre of amazingly creative teachers with whom we work. In our marketing course, she reached way beyond the textbook exercises, creating a food stand so her students could apply, in real life, the concepts learned in the class. This type of activity is not unusual for Catherine. She recently shared a video in which three of her students role played an interviewer and two former presidents. Her classroom at Objetivo clearly is one of the most exciting spaces in the school. Way to go, Catherine Oda!”
With the semester coming to a close, Ms. Oda wanted to design a “practicum” for both the economics and marketing concepts students learned in their coursework. She brought this challenge to the students, and they unanimously decided to launch the “Mizzou Meal,” a small business stand selling fresh foods.
The Mizzou Meal—Authentic Learning
Ms. Oda has so many reasons to celebrate the students’ work on this project which kicked off their school olympics. Her top three reasons are their enthusiasm, the ways they applied their class learning, and their ability to problem-solve in the moment.
Student leader, Pedro Biondi led the initiative. He was joined by his peers Breno Albas, Pietro Pasqual, Ygor Boȃs, Gabby Jann, Leonardo Lara, Laura Fabri and Giovana Oliveira. The students marketed and sold crowd-favorite foods such as brownies, popcorn, and cupcakes. Leading up to the event, the students went from room to room from the third to sixth grade to promote their meal business. So much work went into opening for business, and yet, when the students first opened their food stand, they discovered a problem right away. The students were losing customers because they had not optimized payment possibilities (possession utility). They quickly problem-solved to add a debit and credit card machine reader. The solution worked! Before lunchtime, their cookies and brownies were sold out. The afternoon was also a success, especially with the popcorn and bread.
Ms. Oda shares, “I was really proud because I could see how the concepts they learned were being put into practice! They wanted to sell more, so they thought of making combos! They saw how the drinks weren’t as popular as the treats, so they combined them with drinks at a discount of R$1,00 or 0,50. They also realized that they might be able to sell more by doing 3 treats for R$10,00… and these combos worked like magic! They discovered the psychology and importance of these promotions in having better sales.”
The proceeds of this project will be used for an end-of-year barbeque party.
Giovana Oliveira, another student who worked on the “Mizzou Meal” project, shares, “I could see how difficult it is to plan the selling for a couple of days. I cannot imagine how hard it is to start a company from scratch. But the concepts we learned in marketing and economics helped a lot through this process.”
And then with a big, bright smile she adds, “I am happy with our hard work and accomplishments. GO TIGERS!”
|Focus Value – Partnership|
At Mizzou Academy, we believe that blended and online learning should be relational and connected, and our community approach focuses on both our school communities and our students’ local communities. In our efforts to humanize learning, we center relationships, practice responsiveness, engage in reciprocal learning, and implement student-centered programs.