The Marketplace for Kids will be returning to Dickinson Monday, bringing together bright young minds and local business leaders to share ideas and learn together.
"How I feel marketplace is important, especially to our community, is that it engages young people in their ideas and it puts them in leadership roles and development roles," Dickinson Mayor Scott Decker, who is slated to be master of ceremonies for the event, said in a phone interview.
The Marketplace for Kids seeks to provide experiential learning classes for children in grades three through eight and will feature multiple classes in a variety of subjects, as well as a public showcase of inventions, ideas and projects from the children themselves.
Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner will be in attendance as a featured speaker. The colors will be presented by the Cub Scouts of Pack 112 at an opening rally that precedes the succession of classes that takes up the day. Students registered in advance for the marketplace, and for blocks of time in the morning and afternoon, students will be attending pre-selected classes.
"We have a base of about five or six STEM classes, engineering, math, science," Robert Heitkamp, the executive director for the marketplace, said in a phone interview. "They actually do bridge building 101 ... (the) power plant puzzle is an engineering class ... this year we're doing a little bit more."
The event will be hosted on the Dickinson State University campus, with the opening rally being held at Beck Auditorium. During the lunch period (11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) the public is invited to visit Weinbergen Hall, where the Hall of Great Ideas will be on display.
"The Hall of Great Ideas is held at the lunch hour ... there they get to bring a project, an invention or a business idea," Heitkamp said. "They do a presentation to professionals in the business community."
The student participants in the Hall of Great Ideas will be presented with ribbons by the Dickinson Chamber of Commerce, who were also helpful in organizing this year's marketplace.
"I think it's important to continue to inspire kids," Sarah Trustem, Dickinson chamber director, said. "To start at such a young level I think only encourages entrepreneurship more, and as the world is changing, we don't know what jobs will be like in 20 years, so to continue to encourage that dreamer, that entrepreneurial spirit will be really essential to them in the future."
The Marketplace for Kids is in its 23rd year of being held in Dickinson, and other marketplaces are held around the state, some reaching attendance levels exceeding 1,000 students.
"I'm pretty blessed to be able to do 11 of these across the state," Heitkamp said.
Local Dickinson businesses that helped sponsor the event include Marathon Oil Company, CHI - St. Joseph's Health and Roughrider Electric Cooperative.
Registration is already concluded for the event, and the opening remarks are scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. at Beck Auditorium. The first classes will begin at 10 a.m. The Hall of Great Ideas will be showcased during the lunch break, between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.