To conclude their “Food Truck Project,” before moving on to a different elective for the second semester, the 8th graders taking Family and Consumer Sciences with Mrs. Bhanti were asked to create their own food truck. The truck was meant to be a student’s dream food business. In the trucks, students were asked to provide many different items that would resemble a traditional food business, like a menu, prices, nutritional information, and their inspiration for starting a business. “It taught students real life skills and to be business savvy,” Mrs. Bhanti said, “It helped to teach the students how to be an entrepreneur, and how that experience would make them feel.” And this goal was achieved: interviewed 8th graders agreed with Mrs. Bhanti, and believed the project was a great, realistic concept regarding how the entrepreneurial process will go, and the different things students had to consider to be a successful entrepreneur.
The project consisted of two presentation modes: a slide presentation, and a storyboard. Now displayed in the BBMS/HS library, these storyboards consisted of drawings, menus, reviews, and business cards that were made by the students. Mrs. Bhanti also had students throughout the presentation think about certain things that led them to act like real entrepreneurs. After the slides were presented, some students were asked to justify their prices, and explain how their business can be successful. Each group got the opportunity to present their slides, with their inspiration for creating the business, which was meant as a way to “market” and promote their business idea. Most groups also created a commercial, which was a video, about a minute long, that included group members discussing their products. Many of them also had eighth-grade teachers promote the product too.
The motivations for the projects were exactly how Mrs. Bhanti envisioned them to be: fun, creative, and personal. Some groups decided to bring their inspiration to their family roots, as a way to share their cultural food with the rest of the class, while some groups wanted to provide a place to cheer people up, and make sure that everyone was enjoying their time at the restaurant.
At the end of the presentations, students were able to pick one item off of their menu to “sample” for the class. Unfortunately due to time constraints, the students were not able to cook their food, but instead Mrs. Bhanti brought in one menu item of the student’s choice for the entire class to try.
The “Food Truck Project” was a great success for students, who were given the opportunity to show off their creativity in their food business ideas, and learn very important modern-day skills as they move onto high school. They learned how to formulate their ideas into a business, and understood the factors that most affected how they could market their products, and how to appeal to customers.