Milton students put economics ideas to the test

Teams compete to design product, solve problems
Milton fifth-graders Tess DeBastiani and Anna Patterson start their drawing. BY MELISSA STEELE
June 24, 2014

Fifth-graders from Milton Elementary put their sweet tooths to good use May 28 during an economics competition that asked them to design a truck to sell goods.

For the team of Kayla Burkentine, Tess DeBastiani, Matthew Drumheller and Anna Patterson, candy seemed like a perfect fit.

“There's an ice cream truck, so why isn't there a candy truck?” said Kayla.

Milton third-graders took a more practical approach as they sketched out a conceptual drawing of their supply truck. They decided to sell school supplies instead of edible treats.

“Almost every kid goes to school and needs supplies,” said Kathryn Drumheller.

The Milton students joined about 200 third-, fourth- and fifth-graders from across Sussex County as they took their economic know-how to DelTech's Owens Campus in Georgetown for the University of Delaware-sponsored Meaningful Economics competition.

This year, Milton sent three teams – third-graders, fourth-graders and fifth-graders. Teachers chose the teams based on grades and attitude.

“We were in the midst of the economics unit, so I could see who is strong at the subject,” said fifth-grader teacher Krissy Shaw.

Once teams were selected, a coach helped students prepare for the competition where they are judged on three categories: producing a product, test questions and problem solving .

“The kids who did it last year were thrilled that they were selected again,” said Rachael Short, third-grade teacher.

Fourth-grade teacher Maria Drumheller brought three fourth-grade teams last year, all top finishers. She said the economics competition is a great alternative to what is usually math and science-based competition for students.

“It's nice to see something for social studies,” she said.

All the hard work paid off for the Milton students. Fifth-graders came home with second-, third- and fourth-place ribbons for their work.

This year's Milton Elementary winners were:

In third-grade, Mackinzie Brown, Kathryn Drumheller, John Adamcik and Dylan Henry – first place for the economics test and fourth place for production; Timothy Hitchcock, Nathanial Taylor, Emily Drumheller and Olivia Farro – second place for economics test, second place for problem solving and second place for production; Cailyn Bledsoe, Brady Thompson, Natalie Lampron and Ryan Baker – fourth place for both the test and problem solving.

In fourth-grade, Elle Anderson, Zach Burris, Samantha Connors and Ben Ockels – first place tie for economics test; Ethan Souder, Jack Wiggins, Kelly Bragg and Molly Mendez – first place tie for economics test, fourth place production; David Hawtof, Brian Sponaugle, May Dillard and Courtney Beteyman, second place economics test, fourth place problem solving.

In fifth-grade, Matthew Drumheller, Anna Patterson, Kayla Burkentine and Tess DeBastiani – third place on economics test, fourth place problem solving and second place production; Patrick Emmett, Ellie Hunsicker, Lindsay Rambo and Bethany Bucka – third place problem solving.