SIFE ice cream project gives students taste of business world

SIFE ice cream project gives students taste of business world by David Lias The 25 eighth-graders in Ilene Herseth's consumer science class at Vermillion Middle School received a taste of the real business, thanks to the University of South Dakota's Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team.

SIFE members, many of them studying business or related subjects at USD, worked with the middle school class for three days in early February.

The activity culminated with a business simulation activity that had some competition thrown in for additional flavor.

SIFE's Best in the Midwest Ice Cream Simulation was held the first week of February in Vermillion, Sergeant Bluff, IA, and South Sioux City, NE. The previous week, SIFE worked with students at Hills, MN.

The middle school students learned about production, pricing, and marketing, and concluded their education process by setting up simulated ice cream businesses and selling the cold treats to their peers.

"They learned about business concepts � everything from marketing to taking out a loan to teamwork � any of those concepts that you would have in a business," Herseth said. "And rather than just talk about it in a dry way, they used the simulation with the real, built-in competition to make it come alive for the kids."

The Vermillion students were runners-up only to Sergeant Bluff in the volume of ice cream sold, money raised, and other factors.

Vermillion students raised $154, half of which went to the eighth grade class for its spring trip. The other half was donated to the student council.�

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