Little entrepreneurs overtook the Sauder

On May 26th 2012, Sauder had been “invaded” by little entrepreneurs. And what a session it was! Some kids walked confidently right in, some of the kids peaked through the door not sure what to expect and needed a little “push” from parents but in the end we had a full house for each session. We made the look comfortable and welcoming with lego blocks, and variety of other colorful items leisurely and randomly distributed throughout the the space.

And what did we prepare for our little entrepreneurs? Firstly, it was the famous Marshmallow challenge, followed by the lessons learned and discussions around setting own business. Each group of kids got 1 marshmallow (keeping them from eating it was a challenge itself for the facilitators), 20 pieces of spaghetti and a piece of tape. The goal was to build the tallest tower which holds the single marshmallow on the top for at least 10 seconds. As expected, kids went directly to prototyping. It was amazing to see the chatter and laughter when building their tower. Most of the towers collapsed but what surprised me was the number of amazing ideas they came up with on how to use the tower. They came up with at least 20 from satellite dish to piece of abstract art in few minutes … Another interesting result was that the winning concepts from morning and the afternoon sessions were almost identical.

In the afternoon session a group of parents joined our marshmallow challenge. And no surprise in their behavior. They talked and planned and did not start prototyping until at least half of the allocated time was gone. Later on some of them admitted that they “cheated a bit” and copied the group of kids next to them. At the end, we asked the groups whether they will try to do this again and majority of people shouted yes. Some of them wanted to do boys against girls, parents against children competitions, some of them just really wanted to try it again and succeed.

There is no doubt that we will include activity in the next year Alumni Weekend programming. It was lots of fun for all of us.


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