Year 1 Session 6 (5/14/21)

Hi Aim Families :)

Another week has come and gone! Only two weeks left of this session. Time certainly flies by when you're having fun. And having fun we are! The informal word on the street is this is a fan favorite as far as Quests go. 

The week started off with a bang on Monday as a movement to resist the price that a state was charging others to use the printer gathered momentum. It built up to a full-on protest during lunch with posters and all (you'll have to see the Bloomz post to fully appreciate it). The house held firm on their price though, and eventually the opposition settled. However, I think the message of the protest stuck with this house as they have been a little more cognizant of their prices since. 

And the excitement only picked up from there! The business building, bartering, buying, banking, budgeting, branding, bankruptcy, breaking-even, bootstrapping all continued... with uninterrupted enthusiasm. And we haven't even gotten to bonds, bitcoin or balance sheets yet :) Perhaps the other highest energy moment this week came from competition entering the studio for the first time. Friendly though it may be, competition can feel personal. One eagle had a thriving business and another eagle took notice. This second eagle felt that they could do just as good of a job as the first. And while it took some time before the second eagle found enough courage to dare challenge an already established business, they eventually did. It was pretty neat to see! The first eagle began losing some business to the second as the second eagle undercut their price. The first eagle eventually made the decision to shut down their business. However, I have a feeling they will be back to compete next week. More importantly, the deep learning that accompanied this experience for both eagles (and others observing) was very real. I don't think the lessons learned will be forgotten anytime soon. It was also great to see that the first eagle received multiple character callouts during Tamanhawah that day as the studio rallied around this individual during a tough moment. 

This week also saw the introduction of taxes for the first time. Each state actually sent a representative to vote on how taxes should be implemented studio-wide. This led to great conversation about state vs federal taxes, flat tax rates vs progressive tax rates, and what taxes should be spent on. Stay tuned as there is more to come on this next week as the students draw from a pile of "Federal Unexpected Events" will be interesting to see how the eagles take to some tax collecting and tax spending realities that are currently in place in the US.

One interesting observation came this week as the eagles were tasked with sorting through applications from their peers for the job of Tax Collector, then going about collecting the taxes including calculating 2% of multiple different student incomes (which is the rate the state representatives voted on), keeping track of who had already paid, and then gathering $100 to pay to fix a hacked gas line that the first Federal Unexpected Event Card required. The observation came as I compared this to a time during the first session when the eagles were tasked with something much easier--to simply figure out a way to pick desks. The difference between the two experiences was night and day. 

Back then it seemed like it took a painfully long period of silence before anyone had any ideas or knew what a logical first step might be. Back then, facing what was for many of them a new sort of challenge-- the challenge of doing something without being told how--paralyzed the entire studio. That is the case no longer. This time the eagles completed the entire list of tasks without a moment's hesitation. As this comparison dawned on me, I realized just how much progress they have made in this regard. They are truly learning to do and learning to be. 

Lastly, just as a reminder, the Children’s Entrepreneur Market will be our Exhibition for this Quest. Their booths sometimes sell out 1-2 weeks before the date of the event.

Looking forward to a great finish to this session over the next two weeks!

Lance Stewart
Head of School

PS--for those of you who would like some clarification about the money system of this Quest to help you navigate those family dinnertime discussions....

1. For the mini-economy, students earn, buy and sell things using “Business Bucks”. These are different than Eagle bucks and Studio bucks.
  a. Every time an Eagle completes 10 core skills challenges, they earn 1 Eagle Buck and 1 Studio Buck. Both of these have been used for at least 6 months within the studio
  b. Eagle Bucks are used to buy things from the Eagle Buck Store - a variety of pre-purchased items
  c. Studio Bucks are used to buy items from Amazon or Walmart - items needed for the studio (like markers, paper, post it notes, etc)
  d. Within the mini-economy, if Eagles want to purchase items to sell or needed ingredients, they use Studio Bucks.
  e. Business bucks (BB) can sometimes be exchanged for Studio bucks or be used to purchase Studio Bucks at an auction. The price for a Studio Buck has ranged from 5 BB to 16 BB.
2. There are numerous ways Eagles can earn Business Bucks during Quest.
  a. Have a job and receive a weekly paycheck
  b. Complete any of the 100+ Quest challenges (including read an economics book for 20min for 20 BB)
  c. Have money in savings and earn interest
  d. Create their own business to sell goods or services. (Some Eagles sell a product but fail to make a profit because they don’t charge enough.)
  e. Own real estate and rent it or sell it for a profit
  f. Sell or rent a resource they own

Hi, I'm Lance Stewart.

I'm the founder and Head of School at Aim Academy.

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