UNION, NJ – The basics of the business world were explored by fourth grade Gifted and Talented students in Union elementary schools over the last several months.

Students learned about advertising, target markets, financial data, and investing.  They worked in teams to create their own mock businesses and design business plans that would allow their businesses to succeed.  The students created their own magazine advertisements, wrote, filmed, and edited commercials, created business cards, and wrote a financial plan for investors.

The final project was to put all of their research and business ideas together into a PowerPoint slideshow and present to “Investors.”

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Each elementary school held a competition where these business ideas were presented.  The winning team from each school then got to present their business ideas on May 15 in the District Wide Entrepreneur Challenge, which took place at Hannah Caldwell Elementary School.

Business leaders from Bed Bath & Beyond helped judge the competition.  The top three teams were awarded medals and the first place team was presented the annual trophy. 

“I was literally blown away to see the talent the kids have,” said District IT Director Sandra Paul.

The top three finalists were:

1st Place:  IC-E-Steam: Battle Hill School

2nd Place:  Forget Not Watch: Washington School 

3rd Place:  A.D. Artcessories: Connecticut Farms School

“It was a pleasure to judge the District Youth Entrepreneur Challenge,” said Yvonne Lorenzo, Supervisor of Career Education, World Language and ESL.  “The students and their teachers all worked very hard to create and market their businesses. It was incredible to witness what these 4th graders were able to accomplish. They are all winners as far as I’m concerned. ”

Fellow Judge Ann Hart, Director of Special Projects added, “The G&T Youth Entrepreneur Competition is such a wonderful event, and I was thrilled to judge the competition this year. To see and experience the ideas and thought process of these wonderfully intelligent, and creative students is an honor. The students are so creative and their ability to think up ideas, create samples, and present their concepts in such a clear and creative way makes me so proud to be a part of this community.”