The 26th annual Meaningful Economics and Entrepreneurship Competition was held over the past two weeks in Newark and Georgetown to give third through sixth grade students the chance to demonstrate their economic knowledge.

Wake-up call

Student projects combat snoozing at Meaningful Economics competition

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1:31 p.m., May 29, 2012--For those whose kids have a hard time waking up in the morning and who could you use some help getting them out the door and off to school, there is the “Snoozer Woozer,” an alarm clock that wakes you up with a pleasant smell, makes your breakfast and brushes your teeth. This breakthrough in the alarm clock industry was the invention of a team of fifth grade students participating in Delaware’s annual Meaningful Economics and Entrepreneurship (ME*) Competition.

Held over the past two weeks in Newark and Georgetown, the idea was just one team’s solution to a problem-solving activity in the ME* Competition, which is designed to provide third through sixth grade students the chance to demonstrate their knowledge of economics, entrepreneurship and personal finance.

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The activity called for student teams to design a product or service to deal with the age-old problem of waking sleeping children for school. As part of that challenge, students needed to give the product or service a catchy name, determine a market, outshine their competition, price the product and plan on modes of distribution and selling.

Not interested in tickling your olfactory senses? Then “Rock-o-Soft,” the blanket that cuddles you to sleep and turns as hard as a rock in the morning, is guaranteed to wake your child up.

Both Snoozer Woozer and Rock-o-Soft tied for first place in their grade division. Some other student solutions included “Wake up call,” a “scientifically-approved” cream to rub on your child’s forehead that sends a message to wake up their brain within 5-10 minutes; “Ana-bot,” an alarm clock disguised as an animal that plays music; and “Wakey Shakey Bot,” an alarm clock complete with a tickle function, a cold water function, and a “shakey” function.

The problem-solving activity was just one part of the ME* Competition. During the event teams also participated in a written test; a production activity in which teams organized their members efficiently to make as many products as possible; and prepared a marketing strategy to present to a panel of professional judges.

This year’s production activity, “Can You Buy It?,” was a consumer decision-making activity developed by the Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship  (CEEE) in the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics.

“Can You Buy It?” called for the student teams to assemble game packets by cutting, pasting, folding, counting and packaging game pieces into 12 complete games within an allotted period of time. Assembled games then went home with teachers to be later used in consumer decision making in their classrooms.

ME* Hunt, another favorite activity designed with a bingo concept, gave students the opportunity to network and meet their peers during the competition.

This year marked the ME* Competition’s 26th run, and involved 104 teams from 21 schools across the state at the Newark event and 62 teams from nine schools at the Georgetown event.

Volunteer judges included but were not limited to representatives from State Farm, Bank of America, ING Direct, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Delaware State Treasurer’s Office, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Discover and Delaware Technical and Community College at Georgetown.

The ME* Competition is sponsored through a partnership of the CEEE, the Delaware Council on Economic Education and the Delaware Financial Literacy Institute with funding by Bank of America and Discover.

Article by Kathryn Meier

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