Students in partners or groups of 3 are in charge of creating a business for a trade career (Electrician, Plumber, HVAC Tech, Mechanic) where they determine the expression for the rate they will charge for their services. This works best if you can create at a minimum 8 companies in your class (2 for each type of businesses for competition reasons). Students must include a one time service call fee and an hourly rate for their service. They also must choose a rate that makes the company money because average hourly rates for employees are included, but it also must be competitive because there will be at least 1 other group in the class who has the a company offering the same service.
For example, electricians make about $25 per hour, so charging a $5 service call fee and $10 an hour might get a lot of customers but the company loses money because they would be paying more for their employee to do the job than they are getting paid for the service. Their rate would be $10h +$5
Each "turn", every business will draw 1 slip of paper where something needs repaired and they must shop around for the company that offers them the best price based on the duration of the job and fill in the tracking sheets.
I also have students make a poster to explain their company's name, rate and maybe a slogan or jingle to attract business. The students come up with very creative things for this portion!
After the activity we determine who the winning businesses are (those who made the most money by the end) and winning consumers (students who have the most money left in their personal accounts). This helps students understanding shopping around for prices can save you lots of money. We also discuss lessons learned, things that worked or didn't, why some companies lost money? etc
Personal Account Tracking Sheet
Company Account Tracking Sheet
Event Slips of Paper
Company Pricing Outlines