Models | Monticello High School

[av_heading tag=’h1′ padding=’80’ heading=’Monticello High School’ color=” style=’blockquote modern-quote modern-centered’ custom_font=” size=’50’ subheading_active=’subheading_below’ subheading_size=’15’ custom_class=”]
Monticello, IA

[av_hr class=’default’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’30px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue808′]

[av_one_half first]

[av_heading tag=’h2′ padding=’10’ heading=’Panther Pawpcorn’ color=” style=’blockquote modern-quote’ custom_font=” size=’28’ subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ custom_class=”][/av_heading]

[av_textblock size=’20’ font_color=” color=”]
Monticello High School students are collaborating to a create a student-run, gourmet popcorn business called “Panther Pawpcorn” in a new STEM class. Students are divided into three teams: Community Outreach & Marketing, Industry & Production, and Business Formation. Through this project, students gain real-world experience by communicating needs between the groups, conducting customer and market research, connecting with local industry, and preparing to produce, market, and package a quality product. They are in the process of establishing a board of directors consisting of local community members who will provide insight, input, and direction as the business goes into production.

[av_gallery ids=’3945,3946,3947,3948′ style=’big_thumb’ preview_size=’portfolio’ crop_big_preview_thumbnail=’avia-gallery-big-crop-thumb’ thumb_size=’portfolio’ columns=’5′ imagelink=’lightbox’ lazyload=’avia_lazyload’]

[av_section min_height=’50’ min_height_px=’500px’ padding=’default’ shadow=’no-border-styling’ bottom_border=’no-border-styling’ id=” color=’socket_color’ custom_bg=” src=’’ attachment=’3515′ attachment_size=’full’ attach=’parallax’ position=’top left’ repeat=’stretch’ video=” video_ratio=’16:9′]
[av_heading heading=’The Details‘ tag=’h2′ style=’blockquote modern-quote modern-centered’ size=’42’ subheading_active=’subheading_below’ subheading_size=’40’ padding=’10’ color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#ffffff’]


[av_section min_height=” min_height_px=’500px’ padding=’default’ shadow=’no-border-styling’ bottom_border=’no-border-styling’ id=” color=’main_color’ custom_bg=” src=” attachment=” attachment_size=” attach=’fixed’ position=’top left’ repeat=’stretch’ video=” video_ratio=’16:9′]
[av_hr class=’custom’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’30%’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’10px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue8c2′ font=’entypo-fontello’]

[av_one_full first]

[av_tab_container position=’top_tab’ boxed=’noborder_tabs’ initial=’1′]
[av_tab title=’How it Works’ icon_select=’yes’ icon=’ue856′ font=’entypo-fontello’]

How it Works

Monticello High School students first learned about creating a successful business through collaboration with Metro High School students, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and through interviews with NewBo Market business owners. Using their new insight, the students brainstormed potential business ideas to include a popcorn business.

After researching startup costs, key resources, potential customers, and product marketing, the students decided to conduct further research to support starting a popcorn business. Students were placed on one of three teams:  Community Outreach & Marketing, Industry & Production, or Business Formation with one or two juniors or seniors leading each group.

The Community Outreach & Marketing team creates surveys to receive community feedback on preferential popcorn flavors and communicates feedback to the other teams. The Industry & Production team connects with industry experts and develops production procedures based on the community survey results. The Business Formation team collaborates with school administrators and the district food director, and is working to establish a board of directors consisting of community members who will provide insight, input, and direction as the business goes into production.

Students also had the opportunity to learn more about the popcorn making process by visiting CornFusion, a popcorn business located at NewBo City Market and Lindale Mall in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Through this opportunity, students learned about ordering equipment, flavoring supplies, marketing techniques, pricing structure, and other aspects of the popcorn making business.

[av_tab title=’Goals’ icon_select=’yes’ icon=’ue844′ font=’entypo-fontello’]


The goal of Panther Pawpcorn is to establish a successful student-run business, incorporating STEM concepts and addressing 21st century skills in an interdisciplinary setting, such as employability, entrepreneurial mindset, creativity, problem-solving, financial literacy, health literacy, and technology literacy.

[av_tab title=’Population Targeted’ icon_select=’yes’ icon=’ue840′ font=’entypo-fontello’]

Population Targeted

Panther Pawpcorn aims to sell its product to students of Monticello High School, as well as citizens in the Monticello area through school events, fundraisers, and pre-ordering.

[av_tab title=’Customer Discovery’ icon_select=’yes’ icon=’ue803′ font=’entypo-fontello’]

Customer Discovery

Industry Expert Insight

Through visiting CornFusion, students also gained valuable information about running a popcorn business from the owner of a popcorn business. Using this information, students refined their survey questions, focused in on their targeted market, and determined what type of popcorn would be most profitable. Students also learned sampling is an important part of customer discovery, so samples were made available during school lunch, after school, and at school and community events.

Customer Feedback

Students identified their potential customer segments as local business members, family, friends, and school staff. Students have surveyed this population and used their feedback to guide their decisions relating to popcorn flavors, packaging, possible cost structure, and where and when people would most likely buy the product.

Overall. survey information facilitated the decision to focus on producing gourmet popcorn over microwavable popcorn, as well as narrowed down the main flavors as caramel, cheese, butter, and kettle corn.

Community Partnership Facilitation

The STEM business formation team is forming an advisory board of local business owners, Monticello Foundation members, and the district food director who will provide insight and guidance as decisions are made and to help facilitate community partnerships.

[av_tab title=’Key Partners’ icon_select=’yes’ icon=’ue80b’ font=’entypo-fontello’]

Key Partners

Monticello Community School District

Monticello School Foundation

Monticello Berndes Center


Pat Kelly, Food Service Director

[av_tab title=’Successes to Date’ icon_select=’yes’ icon=’ue82b’ font=’entypo-fontello’]

Successes to Date

Obtaining Funding

The Panther Pawpcorn team has successfully secured a monetary loan from the Monticello School Foundation to get their business up and running. 

Gathering Customer Feedback 

The team has obtained an extensive amount of feedback about their products from potential customers, community members, and business experts. They have successfully used this information to design their products and structure their business to meet their customers’ needs.

[av_tab title=’Sustainability Plan’ icon_select=’yes’ icon=’ue863′ font=’entypo-fontello’]

Sustainability Plan

Student Interest

Current students on the Panther Pawpcorn team plan to recruit other students as interest and student involvement increases with the success of the business. Students may also re-enroll in the class for subsequent semesters to continue the success of the business.

New Interdisciplinary Opportunities

Panther Pawpcorn also hopes to draw more students into the business through cross curricular activity. For example, students in metals class could create a stainless steel table used for turning caramel corn, and students in accounting classes can help manage the financial books.

Connection to Local Business

The Panther Pawpcorn team also envisions connecting to more businesses in the community to help innovate solutions to real-time problems they may be facing.

[av_tab title=’Video’ icon_select=’yes’ icon=’ue921′ font=’entypo-fontello’]



[av_section min_height=” min_height_px=’500px’ padding=’default’ shadow=’no-shadow’ bottom_border=’no-border-styling’ id=” color=’main_color’ custom_bg=’#000000′ src=” attachment=” attachment_size=” attach=’scroll’ position=’top left’ repeat=’no-repeat’ video=” video_ratio=’16:9′]
[av_heading heading=’Community Partners ‘ tag=’h2′ style=’blockquote modern-quote modern-centered’ size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=’meta-heading’ custom_font=”][/av_heading]

[av_partner columns=’3′ heading=” size=’square’ border=’av-border-deactivate’ type=’slider’ animation=’slide’ navigation=’arrows’ autoplay=’false’ interval=’5′]
[av_partner_logo id=’4344′ hover=” link=” linktitle=” link_target=”]
[av_partner_logo id=’4345′ hover=” link=” linktitle=” link_target=”]
[av_partner_logo id=’4343′ hover=” link=” linktitle=” link_target=”]

[av_hr class=’default’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’30px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue808′]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *