Topic The Niko Shoe Company
Subject Math, Economics, Writing
Grades Intermediate, Middle level (works well with special
education students)
Overview: This activity uses a simple stock-flow map to simulate an athletic shoe company. The stock is the shoe stock room, the inflow is factory activity and the outflow is customer purchasing. Using mini paper pairs of shoes, students can physically move shoes in and out of the stock room based on certain conditions and calculate the changing
numbers of shoes in the stock room. They keep track of the shoes on a table of values and graph. Extensions include giving students a graph and asking them to create numbers of factory activity and consumer activity that would generate the graph. In addition,
students write the stories of what would happen with different company scenarios (e.g. when there are too many or too few shoes in the stock room, marketing strategies, supply and demand, or the effects of a factory working conditions). Students also build a simple system dynamics model of their shoe company.
Click here to go to an online simulation of the Niko Shoe Company. (Note: This lesson is an adaptation of the “In and Out Game” from the book, Shape of Change by Rob Quaden and Al Ticotsky.
ST Concepts & Habits Concepts:
• Change over time
• Interdependence
• Structure generates behavior

Habits of a systems thinker:
• Considers both short and long term consequences of

ST Tools • Behavior-over-time graphs
• Stock-flow mapping
• Computer models
  • Identify and compare trends (variable increasing, decreasing, remaining constant) from displayed data.

  • Describe the rule used in a simple grade-level appropriate function (e.g., T-chart, input/output model).

  • Develop mathematical arguments based on induction and deduction, and invalid arguments.

Implemented by: Cheryl Dow, Mary Sue Claborne

Submitted by: Tracy Benson

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