A level Business Studies students had a very interesting lesson about economies of scale, with an intriguing and decorative exercise included for good measure.
On entering Mrs Kinton’s classroom the girls were very surprised to see a box of gingerbread men, Smarties and three shades of writing icing.
Following Mrs Kinton’s brief, each of the four students had to decorate as many gingerbread men as they could in precisely two minutes. Each gingerbread man had to have two eyes, a mouth and coat buttons. All three shades of icing had to be used too.
With the stopwatch literally counting down and regular updates on how much time they had left, the students got to work. It was a hive of frantic production.
At the end of the exercise the girls had successfully decorated 11 gingerbread men within the criteria.
Mrs Kinton asked the students to repeat the exercise again. Exactly as before, with one difference. On this occasion, the girls worked together as a team.
This time round, 17 gingerbread men were decorated correctly. A 54% increase.
The purpose of the exercise was a very simple demonstration of how businesses apply economies of scale, with the girls subsequently discussing how they had produced more gingerbread men within the same space of time.
Their discussion covered how on the second occasion they’d worked as a team, with planned production, each had a specific job to do, they had created an efficient production line, tasks were divided and they wasted less time.
This exercise will lead to further study into economies of scale. In the meantime, the girls enjoyed the fruits of their labour. The gingerbread men were delicious!
More photos taken during the exercise are available here.