"Hello, Biztowners, it's a beautiful day for some tunes," DJ Braylen Wilbern '28, JA Biztown's Radio personality, said into the microphone. "If you'd like to hear a specific sound, I'll be taking song requests for the next ten minutes!"
At Junior Achievement's JA Biztown, along with titles like CEO, CFO, police officers, mayors, and managers being a disc jockey is just one of the roles students can take on. When they took a field trip to the simulated town facility, Lausanne fifth and sixth graders recently had the opportunity to step into these adult duties.
"The Biztown simulation teaches important concepts on many different levels," Fifth Grade teacher Kelly Douglas shared. "Our students rarely see or use physical money, so it's hard for them to understand the circular flow of our economic system. It takes money to spend money to earn money to save or spend money, etc."
BizTown was broken up into three major sections: Economic Understanding, Personal Finance, and Career Readiness. Some of the sponsored businesses included local organizations like the Memphis Grizzlies, Orgill, AutoZone, Truist and Smith & Nephew, sponsor "stores" for JA BizTown. Each store has goods and services that students pay for with the money they earn.
Out of 12 companies, students chose a job, applied for it, then prepared for an interview with an adult on our Lausanne campus. They had to "dress for success," use eye contact and strong verbal skills to score high marks on their evaluations. That interview helped determine which job they would perform.
"Socially, our students learn that every job matters," 5th Grade teacher Kelly Douglas said. "It takes everyone from the CEO to the meter reader to the sales manager, doing their very best individually and co-operatively to ensure their business succeeds."
The simulation helped the Lynx middle schoolers connect the dots between what they learn in school and the real world. Through the experiential learning process, students had the opportunity to actively engage in posing questions, investigating, expressing curiosity, solving problems and assuming responsibility.
"The students successfully ran businesses, were careful with their earnings, worked incredibly hard and were given great kudos by the Junior Achievement staff," Sixth Grade teacher Kyle Lawrence said. "I am so proud of the students and immensely thankful for our parent volunteers and teachers."
To see more pics from their BizTown field trip, visit our Facebook page.