Creativity Oozing at the Vator Shop

RobotEconomics has been a part of our Discovering Early America unit for a while, but it was only two years ago that I invented the Inno-Vator Shop. Students get to learn about business principles by creating their own “companies” and trying to make a profit. This quarter, we’re running our shop on multiple Fridays, so that students will get a chance to make adjustments from week to week, learning from experience. Our first shopping day just happened, and it was a big success:

It might not be clear in the video, but students had very limited resources from which to make their products. They were only allowed to use simple school supplies or household items, such as aluminum foil, yarn, and binder clips. Because of this, they needed to be really creative in developing their products.

Peanut Guys

Many students stuck with making products out of paper, which didn’t cost too much in amp (&), our classroom currency. It’s amazing what you can make with only paper!

Some students capitalized on subjects popular in the media, from video game icons to pop music references:

Others created original characters, in order to start their own trend:

We even had one student that made Tofu San art! They sold out quickly.

Tofu San Art

Some students decided that demand would be highest for items that would be useful. We had some interesting pencil holders and other school supplies.

Pencil Holders

We had so many more interesting products. Want to reach for something far away? The Vator Shop had an invention for that.

Picker Upper

The Vator Shop also had musical intstruments…

…and Thanksgiving decorations.

Some products were big…

Tic Tac Toe

…and some were very small.


In all cases, students seemed to have a great time selling their products.

How will they improve their products for next week? Who made enough of a profit to pay back their initial loan of 200&? We’ll have to wait until next week to find out. For now, the excitement is palpable, and shoppers went home with lots of treats.


Categories: USA

3 replies »

  1. These students are so creative with their products! This is a great idea to get them thinking and using their imagination. I love the Tofu San art, the sushi toys, and the little aluminum figures. 🙂


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