By Tom LaVenture The Jamestown Sun, N.D.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The annual "Marketplace for Kids" is all about innovative learning and entrepreneurship education that targets kids in grades 3-8.
The Jamestown Sun, N.D.
Cadence Kurtz said her big idea came to her while walking her dog.
The Gussner Elementary fifth grader and her partner showcased their invention Tuesday at Marketplace for Kids at Harold Newman Arena. The "bandana for dogs" has a zipper pocket to hold items while walking, she said.
"My partner and I realized that other bags that attach to the leash fall down and seemed to fall off," Cadence said. "We like to put bandanas on the dog anyway, so we figured why not combine those and make it easier?"
Marketplace for Kids started 25 years ago in Jamestown and the annual event is now held in 12 cities all over North Dakota, said Bob Heitkamp, director of Marketplace for Kids. The event is about innovative learning and entrepreneurship education that targets kids in grades 3-8, he said.
"Marketplace for Kids helps kids grow by expanding their minds and reaching outside of their comfort zones," Heitkamp said.
Marketplace for Kids is an experiential learning activity that exposes kids to a variety of skills and occupations, he said. Some activities involve learning in a classroom environment and others are with people working the equipment they use on the job, he said.
Two new programs included "Main Street ND," modeled after the program started by North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. Riley Giauque, inventor of the EZPUCK, and local entrepreneurs talked to kids about how they got started in business.
Heitkamp said a grant made it possible to purchase two virtual reality goggles for kids to experience a zoo program where they get a sense of what it's like to be up close to the animals.
"We get some pretty good reactions," he said.
Classes for students from Jamestown and surrounding communities Tuesday ranged from cake decorating to an introduction to unmanned aerial vehicles, babysitting, NASCAR and soils and gardening.
"It helps all of us," Heitkamp said of the event. "The world doesn't go anywhere if we don't help kids expand and think of new ideas and opportunities. We are leaving the world to them."
Marketplace for Kids has shown the value of exposing kids to the world of possibilities at earlier ages, he said. It helps kids to gauge interest and abilities in various career fields so that by the time they are in high school and college they have a good idea of what they want to do in life, he said.
The arena floor was filled with student projects including one by Zach Janzen, a Gussner Elementary sixth grader who displayed his delta-wing that is designed for an individual to fly with turbine jet propulsion. Zach said he might want to become an aeronautical engineer.
"It's been really fun showing this because they always seem to be interested and I always like teaching people stuff," he said. Kaden Jensen, a fifth grade Louis L'Amour student, showcased his business and engineering skills with his K.B. Designs booth.
He will design and draw by request--for a fee.
Michaela Gronseth, a Carrington fifth grader, designed a bike seat using a basket and a large inflatable ball.
"Instead of a hard seat, it's comfortable," she said.
Over at the James Valley Career and Technology Center, the students had a chance to learn about health careers, woodworking, agriculture and automotive repair.
John Lynch Jr., director of the JVCTC, said the annual event is a great idea to get younger kids interested and knowing what is going on at JVCTC.
"The work skills that they can learn here just gets them thinking about what they want to do with their life," he said "Even though they are young it at least opens up opportunities for them to think about other things than just regular school."