April 13, 2024

JAMESTOWN – About 600 students from grades 3-8 learned about entrepreneurship and career awareness on Tuesday, May 10, at the Marketplace for Kids Education Day at Harold Newman Arena.

Students attended classes that included lessons about money, seed engineering, experiments with electricity, being a babysitter and carpentry and automotive. Firefighters with the Jamestown Fire Department showed students how Ladder 1 works.

Marketplace for Kids holds education days where students get an opportunity to explore careers, technology and the future through hands-on activities that are rooted in entrepreneurship and innovation, according to its website.

Marketplace for Kids gets presenters from the business pool in the communities where education days are held to show students careers such as welding, changing a tire, nursing and even life skills.

“We have core classes in STEM,” said Bob Heitkamp, executive director for Marketplace for Kids. “STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is basically now the core of everything, business included.”

He said he learned students need to be exposed to different types of careers at a young age. He said students know what they want to be in sixth and seventh grade.

“The earlier they see that, the better choices they can make,” he said. “If I have a student come here that wants to be a nurse and they take one of my classes here and find out, ‘Oh my, I can’t handle sight of blood,’ that is a win … because now we saved that student all kinds of money purchasing classes and stuff and saved the parents all kinds of money because they are probably going to pay for a lot of it, and we save the college money right upfront because now we know we don’t head them down that path or let them keep going down that path because they have gotten to see some of the little things.”

Attending education days like the Marketplace for Kids Education Day helps increase students’ knowledge and understanding of some of the subjects and careers they are exposed to, said Mark Ukestad, fifth grade teacher at Washington Elementary School, who was at the event.

“They might see a project that deals with science or a project that deals with history or a project that deals with the medical field, and that might intrigue them to follow that dream plus all the classes here, everybody is well rounded. … It helps set the goal-setting process, ” he said.

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Maple Valley Elementary School fifth grader Cannon Fallen shows off the hammer helper that protects your hand from a hammer during the Marketplace for Kids Education Day.

Masaki Ova / The Jamestown Sun

Some students also pitched their inventions and ideas to business professionals.

“What happens is we’ve got either chamber (Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce) or business people come in over the lunch hour and ask the kids how they came up with their idea, how much they could sell it for, how much it would cost money for,” Heitkamp said. “They pitch it to everybody just like a trade show.”

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Lincoln Elementary School fifth grader Rylee Keith made a futuristic cat bed with a drawer for the Marketplace for Kids Education Day.

Masaki Ova / The Jamestown Sun

Lincoln Elementary School fifth grader Rylee Keith made a futuristic cat bed that has a drawer to store items for the pet and a canopy bed curtain with ribbons that a cat can scratch.

“Our cats kept sleeping on all our night stuff so we decided that they needed their own place,” she said. “ I drew a picture of what it should look like.”

Rylee said her stepdad cut all the wood for her and she assembled, stained and decorated the futuristic cat bed.

Maple Valley Elementary School fifth graders Cannon Fallen and Hayden Wilm each had inventions that they presented as well.

Cannon and his partner in the project created a hammer helper that protects your hand from a hammer while doing home improvement projects.

“When you get your hand stubbed when you are hitting a nail, it always hurts,” Cannon said. “I thought if you get Styrofoam, it won’t even hurt. You don’t have to hold it. It just holds it in place for you so you can hit it in there.”

Hayden created a vacuum that has a removable attachment that squashes a spider, a vacuum to pick up the dead spider and a soap and water dispenser to clean the spot where it was killed.

This year’s event in Jamestown was attended by students from the Jamestown elementary schools as well as Carrington, Gackle-Streeter, Kulm, Pingree-Buchanan and New Rockford-Sheyenne.