Grants in Place Update: Rustic Acres in School Enterprise (RAISE), Chester, South Dakota

June 4, 2019 |

Rustic Acres in School Enterprise (RAISE) is a school-based 3-D printing "industry" at Chester Area Schools

Cheryl Deelstra’s “Rustic Acres in School Enterprise (RAISE)” received a $950 Grants in Place award to establish a school-based 3-D printing "industry" at Chester Area Schools that brings people and generations together in the unique Hutterite Colony, Chester, South Dakota. Students participated in a wide variety of STEM-based learning and experiential activities. This grant was part of the Growing Better Together initiative, co-sponsored by Dakota Resources.

We are pleased to provide this final update from Ms. Deelstra:

"The eleven students in the 3rd – 8th grade at Rustic Acres Hutterite Colony learned so much about business over the year of production thanks to the 3D printer purchased with the Rural Schools Collaborative Grants in Place funds.

It was a bumpy start as everyone learned the software to design products, generate sales, personal printing preferences, training replacements and order supplies. It was a bumpy end of the year as we missed 12 days due to weather!

In spite of the setbacks, the company they formed, RAISE (Rustic Acres In School Enterprise), had a successful year for its first year and took in over $150 in profits which will be a start to save for new outdoor playground equipment.

Several orders came from elementary teachers in a nearby town, who ordered personalized end of year gifts for their students. The project itself became a class that will be taught yearly. The concepts learned were business planning, profit and loss, working as a team and the responsibilities of a project manager and so much more. Everyone was on a team: Design team, Sales team, Inventory team, Assembly team. A few of the older students had individual responsibilities such as production manager, web page designer and financial manager. A brochure and business cards were created and they even started a webpage We even had some “returns” which was good to introduce quality control for next year. Some adjustments were made in personnel for next year as well and I am hoping to invite a business person from Madison to come and speak to the class. At the end of the year this year we had “Donuts With Dads” where students invited their fathers to attend the final business meeting and demonstrated their work.

The lessons the students are learning are invaluable skills that will carry them through into adulthood. I am sure the ideas and concepts will grow and lead to more and more authentic learning opportunities for my students."

We invite you to read this earlier update on RAISE.

Thanks again to Dakota Resources, a regional economic development organization based out of Renner, SD, Jim Beddow, and Mike Knutson for supporting Grants in Place in South Dakota.

We invite you to learn more about our 2018-19 Grants in Place program! Also, we encourage you to check out our web section on the value of place-based education.

†Dr. Jim Beddow, longtime RSC advocate, board member and chair emeritus, and passed away on June 25, 2023. Read more about his legacy.

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