Sauk Rapids-Rice High School Advanced Marketing students are putting their know-how to the test using simulation software that allows them to set up a virtual retail environment. The Knowledge Matters Virtual Business for High School simulation software helps students learn about business, marketing and the retail world in an immersive, hands-on experience.
Students have spent the past six weeks learning about 12 different topics related to running a retail business. They have explored market research, staffing, purchasing, risk management, finance, creating a business plan and much more. They then applied this learning as they built virtual retail stores. The retail store simulation provides feedback about how their decisions affect their businesses and shows them how their choices play out in their operations.
Josh Bauer, Sauk Rapids-Rice High School business and marketing teacher, says all of the preparation work before creating the students’ stores is vital to their learning and helps the content sink in for them in a new way. The students use math, reading and critical thinking skills each day as they build their simulations.
All of the students will be competing in the DECA Virtual Business Challenge next week. This competition is the first of two possible rounds where students either work to turn around a struggling business or create a one from scratch using the simulation software. They may choose from industry categories like sports and entertainment, retail, hotels, restaurants, entrepreneurship, fashion and accounting.
The Sauk Rapids-Rice High School DECA group will compete with other DECA students from around the Midwest. If they advance, students will compete again in January, with the hopes of ultimately earning a spot at DECA’s International Career Development Conference in April. Those competitors have a chance to win significant monetary awards made possible through donations from organizations like the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation.
The simulations give students the experience of feeling the consequences of their actions just as a real business owner might. Bauer finds this kind of work is especially beneficial for his students because it is experiential. “The software simulations provide a very realistic and detailed look at how the world works. It requires students to think about how to apply the content knowledge they have to a variety of business environments and problems critically.”
We wish our Storm Strong DECA students success as they learn and compete!