(Algona, Iowa) Iowa Lakes Community College and the Tietz Entrepreneurial Center offer an Entrepreneur for a Day (E4D) program for middle school students designed to teach the essential concepts of entrepreneurship and economics.
Using playdough and imagination, fifth or sixth-grade students create amazing products while learning the basic skills to design, develop, finance, promote, and profit from their new creations. In addition to the economics and entrepreneurship skills learned in the E4D program, students also learn teamwork, collaboration, communication, problem-solving, and enhanced leadership skills.
Students learn core business concepts and basic economics through the E4D program, which consists of two interactive parts. The first segment is a two-and-a-half-hour introductory session explaining the vocabulary and concepts of entrepreneurship. The second portion involves a day trip to an Iowa Lakes campus where the middle school students practice what they learned in the first section. Teams choose a product, borrow money from a bank, buy the resources they will need, make the product, sell the item, and determine if they made a profit. The visit concludes with a college tour that offers students a sense of campus life and validates college.
“The E4D program teaches students critical skills including applied mathematics, estimating, budgeting, debits versus credits, leadership and teamwork traits,” explained Shelly Brown, the Tietz Entrepreneurial Center Coordinator. “The program encourages students to view entrepreneurship as a viable career pathway and understand that passions can become careers.”
Sponsorships from local businesses are an essential part of ensuring the accessibility of the E4D program to as many local fifth or sixth-grade classes as possible.
Sixth-grade students at Bishop Garrigan Catholic School completed the program this spring with sponsorship from three area businesses: Erpelding Excavating Enterprises, Deitering Bros., and Steier Agriculture & Aviation.
North Union Middle School sixth grade students also had the opportunity to complete the E4D program thanks to an exclusive sponsorship from Bank Plus of Swea City and Ledyard.
The E4D program is available to all schools in the Iowa Lakes Community College five-county service area.
For schools wanting to participate in the E4D program, businesses interested in sponsoring the E4D program, or information on other entrepreneurial-focused classes, please contact Shelly Brown at 515.295.8531.