Annual Marketplace for Kids inspires future entrepreneurs

There’s more than one way to feed a dog, as Lewis and Clark Elementary School fourth-graders Hunter Heit and Caleb Reing demonstrated Wednesday at the Region 2 Marketplace for Kids.

The boys poured dog food into a small container at the top of the shelf, it fell through a tube built into the shelf and clattered into a large dog food dish resting on the bottom shelf.

Hunter said his dad gave him the idea for his pet food delivery system when they were eating out at a restaurant.

“It’s really a family project,” said the boys’ teacher, Ann Mueller, who said her entire class entered projects this year at Marketplace for Kids, which encourages kids to imagine and sometimes develop new inventions. Mueller said the projects were included in the students’ science grades.

Working with teachers from the district’s gifted and talented program, kids began brainstorming ideas for the projects in February. They conducted research, often working with other kids and with their parents at home, and sometimes built a working model for their ideas if it wasn’t too expensive.

“We want them to come up with a new idea and use their higher order thinking skills,” said Mueller. Mueller said two former students went on to show their projects at the Marketplace for Kids competition at the North Dakota State Fair last summer.

The event, held at the Minot State University Dome, was attended by elementary students from around the area. Students also attended a variety of workshops on business. Mueller said her students enjoyed workshops on how the State Fair is run as well as one where they got to build their own robots.