Market Day: Project-Based Learning Helps Year 8 Get to Grips with Economics

Over the course of Term 2, Year 8 students have been busy in HASS learning economic concepts. Specifically, they’ve been investigating markets, producers, consumers and our ethical responsibilities in both capacities. Students have spent the Term facing the decisions that producers face – what to produce, what resources to use, what price to charge and, fundamentally, how to make a profit!

This project-based learning approach culminated on Wednesday 26 June, when the students conducted a Market Day where they produced, sold and marketed their chosen product (and cleaned up afterwards!). The day was held before and during lunchtime, with opportunity for both Primary and Secondary students and staff to enjoy what was on offer. Stalls included a sausage sizzle, whose prices were set after some extensive market research, popcorn chicken, which sold out before the lunch bell, the mad-capped noddle boys hawking their noodles, prawn crackers and special rose-flavoured soda, and the makers of hot chocolate.

Many stalls contained homemade goodies and different delights made diligently by students. Some, like the pikelets, were made hot on the spot! The most profitable stall was that selling hot chips, and one of the busiest was the Sip Tea bubble tea. Honourable mention goes to the Sweet Tooth who managed to create a brand, complete with packaging and superb presentation. Novelty value was the boys who sold Xbox slots!

Market Day is a test of team work and collaboration, problem solving (especially if your gas runs out, your power turns off, or your team member doesn’t turn up!), persistence and cooperation. Students are assessed on the quality of their product and marketing, their ability to function in a group, their profit margin and their ethical financial dealings. While most groups made a profit, all of our students should be proud of their efforts, their teamwork and their persistence! Some students went to great lengths to support one another (even the competition!) and to make their group successful.

We are also deeply grateful to the extra staff who helped in various ways on the day to make it successful and to those who came and opened their wallets and consumed some really good produce.

Educational Outcomes

  • 21st century skills/general capabilities assessed included communication, collaboration, use of ICT (spreadsheets, graphic design for marketing), creativity (product choice, design and presentation).
  • HASS-specific outcomes included:
    • the way markets operate in Australia, how the interaction between buyers and sellers influences prices and how markets enable the allocation of resources (that is, how businesses answer the questions of what to produce, how to produce and for whom to produce) (ACHEK027)
    • the rights and responsibilities of consumers and businesses in Australia (ACHEK029)
    • types of businesses (e.g. sole trader, partnership, corporation, cooperative, franchise) and the ways that businesses respond to opportunities in Australia (ACHEK030)

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