I've always been a fan of technology. My friends and family are well-aware of the number and variety of gadets I have, and they also know that I'm a big believer in matching the tool to the task. Perhaps surprisingly, I've never been one for trendy apps or games (though I do admit to briefly joining the hordes playing Candy Crush while travelling this summer). A few weeks ago, however, while preparing for the opening conference of the Business Network for Aboriginal Youth, my research became temporarily focussed on educational applications, games, and simulations for business learning. Enter Lemonade Stand.
Lemonade Stand is a business simulation created by MediaSpark. Available for computers and smartphones, the object of the game is to make money by selling lemonade. Players select a logo and business name before determining price, recipe, and the quantity of inventory to purchase with just $25 as start up cash. The alert entrepreneur will make adjustments based on the weather, but some factors (like spoilage) are beyond one's control.
Addictive does not begin to describe this game. The catchy music, the cha-ching of the cash register with each sale, the visuals — they're all appealing. And when you have a great day of sales, it's hard not to get excited. (It's also great fun to compete against one's coworkers, er, I mean fellow students, to see who can sell more in a 3-day period…)
All in all, a very fun way for kids (of all ages) to learn about supply and demand, the importance of good planning and inventory management, and the impact external forces may have on sales.