Students take care of business

Eighth graders at Humboldt Middle School practiced their entrepreneurial skills in a carnival-like setting last week.



May 18, 2021 - 9:48 AM

Humboldt Middle School eighth-graders operated businesses last week and raised $1,200 for a scholarship. A luau-themed food booth was very popular, organized by Shelby Shaughnessy, from left, Sophia Barlow, Aisley Galloway, Anna Heisler and Sydnea Bumstead. Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

When it came to developing a business plan, Humboldt Middle School eighth-graders Matthew McCullough and Tanis Caldwell had a genius idea.

And its implementation involved the key ingredients of strategy, skill and planning.

Oh, and a whole lot of fun. 

No one, they thought, could beat Caldwell at the board game Connect Four.

Matt McCullough, left, and Tanis Caldwell show puzzles to Emmie Hole.Photo by Vickie Moss

He’s a master. He thinks ahead. He sets up traps for his victims… er, opponents.

“The most traps I’ve set up are five,” Caldwell said with pride.

“Only one person beat him today,” McCullough added.

That person was Abby Rinehart, who played 10 rounds against Caldwell in order to claim victory.

But it cost her.

Caldwell and McCullough charged $1.50 per round to challenge Caldwell at the game. They offered a money-back guarantee to anyone who could beat him, but Rinehart didn’t want the money. Just bragging rights.

The booth was just one of several offered last week as Humboldt eighth-graders presented a business carnival of sorts where students developed a business plan, purchased supplies, and operated their business es. 

Tori Melendez puts makeup on Jacob Harrington at the “Makeup Men” business.Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register
Humboldt Middle School eighth-graders operated businesses last week and raised $1,200 for a scholarship. At left, Jacob Harrington prepares to be blasted by a water balloon. Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

Sixth- and seventh- graders, along with some high school students, spent money at the booths.

Some booths sold food, such as pop, chips, nachos, cookies, ice cream sundaes and floats, and more. Others offered games and activities, such as tossing a football through a hoop or throwing darts at balloons for prizes. 

Teacher Scott Brady said the goal was to encourage entrepreneurial skills, as well as work on things like math and social interaction.

All money raised will got to a scholarship fund for a 2025 graduate who plans to go into the field of business. Brady expected to raise about $500, but students exceeded his expectations. They brought in $1,200.

ONE of the most popular booths was a luau-themed food booth organized by Shelby Shaughnessy, Sophia Barlow, Aisley Galloway, Anna Heisler and Sydnea Bumstead.

“We just thought it would be really fun,” Shaughnessy said.

“We thought it would make money with all the music,” Barlow added.

“We wish we could do this every day,” Galloway said.

Carsyn Galloway said she and her group had a similar thought: What’s the best way to make money? 

Abby Rinehart shows off her purchases.Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

They offered a game of skill: Throw a dart and pop a balloon to win a prize. Everyone’s a winner, but most won a prize of a pop or cookie. The big prizes were gift cards of $5 each to area fast food restaurants. The grand prize was a $15 gift certificate to Pete’s gas station and convenience store.

Their plan worked a little too well. The booth was very popular until all the gift certificates were claimed. Then, customers just played for fun and snacks.

A BRAVE group of students decided to offer themselves as the prize. 

Dubbed “Makeup Men,” the booth gave students an opportunity to put makeup on their classmates or  throw water balloons at them — a tough choice.

Students took full advantage of their human canvases.

“There’s been a lot of mascara and nail polish,” Kyler Isbell said, his face smeared with black mascara streaks and his hair full of glitter. “They even used mustard.”

His interview for this article was cut short as a long line of customers demanded that he return “to work.”