Some students at Sonoraville High School could tell you something about investing. During the fall semester, they finished first in the Stock Market Game for the Gordon County Schools. Teacher Kim Clements advised the Sonoraville High School team of students Kailey Vaughn, Tessa Fowler, Jordan Ford, and Cristian Duarte who took their hypothetical start-up investment of $100,000 and turned it into a portfolio with a value of $156,733 in ten weeks. Then in the spring semester, another Sonoraville team finished first again. Clements advised the second Sonoraville High team of Hunter Creswell, Jackie Davis, Hannah Oster, Cayman Moore, and Jarred Bagwell who took their hypothetical start-up investment of $100,000 and turned it into a portfolio value of $118,224.
The two Sonoraville High teams joined more than 600 students, teachers, and a few parents from across Georgia for the 32nd Annual Stock Market Game Awards Luncheon at the Freight Depot in Atlanta. State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge was at the May luncheon to congratulate the students on their hard work.
Fun with funds: students see how economics works
The Stock Market Game shows students how the buttons and levers of private enterprise work, how different parts of America’s huge economy can function in predictable, cause-and-effect ways. Fourth through 12th grade students learn real lessons about how economics can directly impact their lives without the financial pain many adults are feeling these days.
Beginning with a hypothetical $100,000 portfolio, teams of up to five students use math, language, and skills they’ve learned in other classes to research publicly-traded companies on the Internet, read business news, and crunch numbers to figure out which businesses and industries are likely to do well in the current economy. Student teams decide on which stocks to buy and when. After ten weeks, the team with the highest portfolio value wins. It’s not real money, but that’s a good thing. Many teams in the Stock Market Game don’t do so well. In addition to one statewide winner and runner up, one winning team is selected from each public school district, or geographic region in the case of independent schools.
Investing in the future
Dr. Barge, who also participated in the Stock Market Game nearly three decades ago, told the students the Stock Market Game, like the rest of the education they are receiving, can prepare them for what they’ll need to know as they get older.
“Your success says a lot about the quality of education you’re receiving in Georgia. You may not be stock brokers, but you can learn from this. Many of you will have an opportunity to invest money in various retirement plans and mutual funds. For me, I invest that money through someone else who knows what they are doing,” the state school superintendent said, adding, “Who knows? I might have some of you guys doing it for me in the future.”
Teacher training makes the difference
To make equity markets a classroom-ready metaphor for the forces that drive our economy, GCEE requires all teachers using the program to attend a one-day workshop on how the Stock Market Game works. Teachers gain valuable lessons on economic concepts found in the game. While classroom teachers attend workshops, GCEE helps school systems by covering the cost of substitute teachers.
More than 35,000 students in public and independent schools participate in the Stock Market Game in Georgia each year in fall and spring competitions. Bank of America, the CFA Society of Atlanta, the Citi Foundation, the Georgia Securities Association, INVESCO, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Foundation for Investor Education, with funding from Morgan Stanley, and the SIFMA Southern/South Central District support the Stock Market Game in Georgia. To learn more, please visit the Georgia Council on Economic Education Web site at www.gcee.org