Kids try out ‘Marketplace’About 1,200 inventors and entrepreneurs, all under the age of 12, spent a day on the campus of Jamestown College Friday. The students demonstrated their own inventions and ideas and learned about engineering, science and business during Marketplace for Kids.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
About 1,200 inventors and entrepreneurs, all under the age of 12, spent a day on the campus of Jamestown College Friday. The students demonstrated their own inventions and ideas and learned about engineering, science and business during Marketplace for Kids.
“It’s been a very busy day for the kids,” said Peg Schlenker, member of the leadership team that organized the event. “We kept them moving all day.”
Seminars ranged from how to design a business logo or sign to — in a Cavendish Farms presentation titled “Mr. Potato Head’s Nightmare” — how French fries are made.
“We try to pick topics have a North Dakota interest,” Schlenker said. “We have excellent presenters who can cover the topics in ways the kids understand.”
One of the North Dakota topics called “Kid Wind” gave a hands-on demonstration on how to make the most efficient wind turbine.
“We made a six-blade windmill and we’re trying to lift seven weights,” said Payton Hanks a fifth grader at Medina Public School, the spokesperson for a team of Kristin Haas, Hailey Otto and Mathew Burkle, all also from Medina. “We’re going for seven because six is the highest number that has been lifted.”
Each team was provided an assembly that included the hub of a turbine mounted in a housing. It was connected to a shaft running to the back of the assembly. The team designed its own blades to fit into the hub. The miniature turbines were then mounted on a stand in front of a standard house box fan. As wind from the fan turned the blades, it caused the shaft at the back of the housing to rotate, wrapping a string around the shaft to lift the weights.
For the team of Payton, Kristin, Hailey and Mathew the first try only lifted five weights so it was back to the worktable to add more blades to their turbine.
With the extra blades, and a little cheering (despite Payton noting she wasn’t sure if that helped) the turbine they designed lifted eight weights and exceeded their goal.
“It is a great way to teach kids about wind energy,” said Katee Kunzman, a member of Students Against Destructive Decisions and one of the volunteers helping with the seminar. “It is a fun way for them to learn.”
Clay Greenwood, a member of DECA and also a volunteer at the event, said the students had fun and demonstrated a high level of ability.
“I’ve never seen so many smart kids as I have today,” Greenwood said.
Marketplace for Kids started in 1995 with a single event held in Jamestown. It is now held annually at eight regional locations around North Dakota. A total of about 13,000 fourth, fifth and sixth graders participate each year in the state.
This year’s event in Jamestown was attended by students from the Jamestown elementary schools as well as Carrington, Ellendale, Maple Valley, Medina and Pingree-Buchanan.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at (701) 952-8452 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org