A Calgary classroom of Grade 5 students is spending its days hard at work making buttons to learn about business and show support for a classmate.

The students in Victoria de la Puente's class are launching Pin It! — a small business aimed at raising money for kids with cancer.

The project was inspired by classmate Marcus Remenda, who lost his older brother to cancer last summer. 

"I was inspired because I saw that we tried to do stuff [when his brother was sick], but not lots would work so, I think raising this money will help other kids so that they don't have to experience the same thing," Remenda said.

Kids' pins for cancer

Grade 5 students at St. Margaret School in northwest Calgary have created a small button-making business called Pin-It! Money raised through the class project will be donated to kids' cancer care. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

De la Puente said the assignment is part of a project-based learning experiment that is teaching kids various subjects through real-world means and the students are excited to be raising money to help other children.

"They are so proud of helping with this cause, first of all because they are children and then because they have Marcus and that's something that has happened in real life, so it's more real to them," she said.

The St. Margaret's School students are divided into departments — from marketing to design to production — to teach the kids the ins-and-outs of running a business.

"The machine costs $700, we sell one pin for $2, three pins for $5, six pins for $10. We need to make a lot of pins to make that money back," said student Sebastian Martinez, who is participating in the project's accounting department.

All of the profits, should they make any, de la Puente said, will go towards cancer care for children through the Alberta Children's hospital.

With files from Monty Kruger