Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Junior Achievement Session II

Today was the second session in the Junior Achievement programme I've been lucky enough to deliver to a local Grade 4 class.  The programme is "Our Canada: Innovation & Technology".

Included in today's fun - the students demonstrating the movement of society as a result of technology / innovation.  The chart started in 1925 with 49% of the population engaged in agriculture, 51% in manufacturing.  I took them back even farther, to 100% hunter/gatherers at the dawn of time.  So, we started with everyone in a circle ... then moving forward in time, about half are now agriculture, half manufacturing in 1925 - so the farming half are feeding the manufacturing half, and the manufacturing half are making the equipment and goods.

Move forward 25 years, lose half the farmers to manufacturing; forward another 25 years, lose another half of the farmers but whoa! add a new group - communication!  End up today - only a handful of farmers, most in manufacturing and a handful in communication.

Then we had an auction - each student got $20 JA money.  There were 8 items for auction.  One of the students was the auctioneer :)  The first item sold for $14 (a grammaphone), the next (record player) went for $8, the next (8-track player) went for $14.  The next item was pretty interesting - the bidding popped up to $20 and then everyone wanted to bid $20.  So it was a problem!  Lots of people had $20.  Prodded a bit and the student who first bid the $20 decided to let another student have the bid.

The next item was a cd player and the bidding popped up at $20 again ... and THEN ... one student pooled his funds with another student so they could share the item.  BINGO!  Light bulb moment!  And the student who made the discovery, is apparently one who often doesn't work well with the other students.  Got to talk about co-operatives, pooling resources, sharing equipment.

For the final item (mp3 player) we had teams working together in chaos as everybody figured out how powerful collaborating can be!

It was a great session - I think a little too intense - but lots of material to link to the curriculum and build upon.  Win - win - win.  Junior Achievement ROCKS!  http://www.jacan.org/

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