Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School eighth-grader Pua Ahhney, right, and Elizabeth Eriksen fish for salmon at the Wayside Park on Channel Drive on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. The fish will be used in a dog treat business the students are developing to raise money for a water dispensing system to be used at the school. Two math teachers Bobby Jones and Tennie Bentz, are having the students start four businesses as a way of teaching the use of math in the real world. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School eighth-grader Pua Ahhney, right, and Elizabeth Eriksen fish for salmon at the Wayside Park on Channel Drive on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. The fish will be used in a dog treat business the students are developing to raise money for a water dispensing system to be used at the school. Two math teachers Bobby Jones and Tennie Bentz, are having the students start four businesses as a way of teaching the use of math in the real world. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Math class takes on reel-world problems

Class dog-treat business will raise funds for water system

Dawn Hoyt, Charlize Brown and Zariah Knight’s shrieks and giggles filled the salty air.

Jumping up and down on the edge of the large wooden dock off Channel Drive, the fishing party applauded Hoyt’s progress reeling in her catch. A student lowered a fishing net into position when a salmon abruptly splashed the water’s surface and disappeared into the Gastineau Channel.

“That scared me,” Hoyt said afterwards, still a little shell shocked.

Dzantik’i Heeni Middle Schooleighth-graders Remi Starks, left, Zariah Knight, Dawn Hoyt and Charlize Brown, right, react to a salmon on their line at the Wayside Park on Channel Drive on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. The fish will be used in a dog treat business the students are developing to raise money for a water dispensing system to be used at the school. Two math teachers, Bobby Jones and Tennie Bentz, are having the students start four businesses as a way of teaching the use of math in the real world. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Dzantik’i Heeni Middle Schooleighth-graders Remi Starks, left, Zariah Knight, Dawn Hoyt and Charlize Brown, right, react to a salmon on their line at the Wayside Park on Channel Drive on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. The fish will be used in a dog treat business the students are developing to raise money for a water dispensing system to be used at the school. Two math teachers, Bobby Jones and Tennie Bentz, are having the students start four businesses as a way of teaching the use of math in the real world. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

The girls were among approximately 30 Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School eighth-graders fishing for chum salmon on Friday morning at Wayside Park.

Students took turns fishing with a limited number of poles. They hoped to catch salmon for a new business endeavor, the dog-treat company Dunkin’ Doggo.

This semester, DHMS math teachers Bobby Jones and Tennie Bentz had students come up with solutions to real-world problems using math skills.

The students decided to raise money for a filtered water dispenser, and Jones pitched the idea of the dog treat business. The salmon students caught will be used to make the treats.

“The kids wrote business plans to start with and came up with the logo, came up with the name,” Jones said. “Now, we’re starting the math part.”

Eigth-grader Jaylynn Martin thinks the business has the chance to take off.

“I think the business will probably be successful because it’s for a good cause,” Martin said. “Our school doesn’t get as good of water as it should, so it would be really nice for kids who bring their water bottles to school to get cold water instead of having to drink the weird warm water.”

The class sold its first batch of dog treats Tuesday at their school’s open house, Martin said. By the end of the night, Martin and several others sold out of their entire supply.

For Martin and others, the project allows them to showcase their strengths. In Martin’s case, that included her marketing skills.

“I’m just a very talkative person,” Martin said. “I could talk a lot if I really want to.”

Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School eighth-grader Jaylynn Martin, right, is helped by Teacher Bobby Jones while fishing for salmon at the Wayside Park on Channel Drive on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. The fish will be used in a dog treat business the students are developing to raise money for a water filtering system to be used at the school. Two math teachers, Jones and Tennie Bentz, are having the students start four businesses as a way of teaching the use of math in the real world. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School eighth-grader Jaylynn Martin, right, is helped by Teacher Bobby Jones while fishing for salmon at the Wayside Park on Channel Drive on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. The fish will be used in a dog treat business the students are developing to raise money for a water filtering system to be used at the school. Two math teachers, Jones and Tennie Bentz, are having the students start four businesses as a way of teaching the use of math in the real world. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

For Savannah Johnson, that meant creating the company logo, which depicts silhouettes of cat and dog heads overlaying a nature landscape. The work so far has been a team effort, Johnson said.

“We work as a team, we have fun together,” Johnson said. “Even if we’re not friends we still have fun as classmates. All us work hard.”

Dunkin’ Doggo design by Savannah Johnson for her eighth grade math class business making dog treats out of local salmon. (Photo courtesy Savannah Johnson)

Dunkin’ Doggo design by Savannah Johnson for her eighth grade math class business making dog treats out of local salmon. (Photo courtesy Savannah Johnson)


• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com.


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