Web projects shine at school

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 13, 2004

BY SUE ELLEN ROSS – Staff Reporter

DESTREHAN – The paperwork involved in opening a new business can be overwhelming, but students at St. Charles Borromeo School met this challenge by using computer software as part of a Business Website Project.

Eighth graders were given an assignment to develop their own company – complete with a budget, employee listings and product inventory.

Then they had to design a related website.

Businesses ranged from an upscale shoe company to a talent agency and everything in between

“This project has been their most imaginative and challenging project to date,” said Melissa Wallace, Technology Coordinator. “I wanted to try to incorporate as many (software) programs as possible.”

The students used Microsoft programs; Word, Excel, FrontPage and Paint. “The results are sensational,” said the proud teacher.

The final products were unveiled to parents in the school’s new Computer Lab on Feb. 11.

Depending on the size of the business, youngsters were given a budget ranging from $15-25 million.

The hardest part of the project was listing employees and their salaries, according to most of the students.

Beth Favaloro, owner of the fictitious Fabulous Red

Clothing Co., consulted class mates and family to develop a pay scale. “I did pay my employees well,” she laughed.

Amanda Blanchard loves gourmet coffee, so she named her business ‘Supreme Bean.’ Research included calls and visits to similar businesses and surfing related information on the Internet.

Cameron Laurent’s first idea was to become an owner of a football team. But once he realized that he only had $15 million to spend for the entire business, he decided instead to open ‘Just Sports,’ a sports apparel company.

If he had gone with his first idea, he would be lucky to have one employee (since sports figure’s salaries are quite high), teased his friends.

Laurent did his research on the Internet, but also traveled to local sports stores for price information and types of inventory.

Parent Jane Abell visited her daughter’s website, ‘Mocha Coffee.’ The fictitious company, owned by Christy Abell, serves coffee and everything chocolate. The proud mom feels this project was beneficial for Christy and her classmates in many ways.

“Learning about websites now is putting them ahead of the (technology) game,” she said. “And this assignment also inspired them to use their creativity.”