Loftis Launch Coffee Shop
Posted on 03/27/2024
Loftis Launch Coffee ShopChattanooga, Tenn. - Congratulations to Loftis Middle School’s eighth-grade launch class for successfully opening their school coffee shop on Thursday, March 21. The coffee shop project embodies the essence of project-based learning, engaging students in problem-based tasks that foster critical thinking and creativity. Through interdisciplinary connections, Loftis Middle School students are not only learning core subjects but also applying their knowledge in real-world scenarios, preparing them for future success.

“This project taught us life skills, and that has been really cool,” said eighth grader Makinley Standefer. We learned the basics of what it takes to run and build a coffee shop, and this will also give us a chance to interact with students and teachers in other grades.”
The Launch program at Loftis Middle School emphasizes a holistic approach to education. Students are encouraged to ask questions, explore different career paths, and make connections between what they learn in class and the world around them. From creating awareness about environmental issues (sixth grade) to running a coffee shop(eighth grade), students are actively involved in hands-on projects that develop essential skills such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. The coffee shop project specifically focuses on teaching students about entrepreneurship, marketing, budgeting, and customer service, providing them valuable life skills beyond traditional classroom learning.

Student groups were asked to complete and turn in a business plan that included a shop summary, recipes, a pricing model, profit projections, a marketing plan, and more. The final groups then presented their business plans to a panel of judges, including teachers, staff members, Hamilton County Department of Education Board representative Ben Connor, and Soddy Daisy High School students. After the panel selected the final plan, the students running the shop visited Soddy Daisy High School to learn the basics of brewing and crafting coffees from the students who run Soddy Daisy High’s coffee shop.

Cortney Fugate, the eighth-grade launch teacher, highlighted the impact of the coffee shop project in teaching students real-world problems and fostering a passion for learning. “My favorite part of teaching launch is teaching kids life skills. This coffee shop is not mine; it’s theirs, and they have brought it to life; all I provide is guidance and oversight.” Fugate also stated that in completing this project, students asked for more lessons on financial literacy, which she could provide through a project on home budgets and taxes.

The Launch program enhances academic performance and instills a sense of empowerment, accountability, and leadership in students. By integrating Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Project-Based Learning (PBL) methodologies, Loftis Middle School is paving the way for students to excel in a dynamic and ever-evolving world. As the coffee shop opens its doors to the school community, HCS celebrates the creativity, dedication, and entrepreneurial spirit of its students at Loftis Middle School.