Collegeville Elementary class excels at Stock Market Game

Photo by Kate Patrick

LITTLE ROCK—Jean Pamplin’s class at Collegeville Elementary School in Bryant earned second-place honors in Region 5 of Fall 2013 session of the Stock Market GameTM, according to Sue Owens, Executive Director of Economics Arkansas.

The class was among more than 130 junior investors in grades 4-12 that were recognized for their successful efforts to grow a hypothetical stock portfolio over the course of 10 weeks. They received cash awards and trophies for winning first and second place during the Fall 2013 session.

The Stock Market Game is a project-based investment simulation teaching the importance of saving and investing for the future. The student achievements were celebrated during an awards luncheon at Verizon Arena on Jan. 16 hosted by Economics Arkansas, a nonprofit educational organization that trains educators how to integrate economics and personal finance concepts into the K-12 classroom curriculum.

Yet as one winning team of four elementary students explained to the audience, participating in the Stock Market Game program netted them more than a cash award and a field trip to Little Rock: We learned to take risks with investments. We learned about different levels of risk: low would be a savings account, medium would be stocks or mutual funds, and high would be investing in futures like corn. We learned to look at what was happening in the world . . . If a produce had to be recalled, then the company would suffer. If the government shut down, we were all in trouble.

“We learned to use online resources like, yahoo finance and google finance. We could use their charts and analyst opinions to determine whether or not a stock was worth buying,” said Gabe Reed, Davis Elleman, Jaxon Krueger and Preston McAllister from Bernice Young Elementary School of the Springdale School District.

One of the adult guests, Dr. C.W. Gardenhire from the Arkansas Department of Education, emphasized the value of long-term investing. He described how he participated in the Stock Market Game as a middle school student and, impressed by what he had learned, purchased two shares of a publicly traded company with some of his earnings from a part-time job. He held onto that stock and years later, the profits from those two shares paid for the down payment of his first house.

More than 4,000 Arkansas students participated in the Fall 2013 session of the Stock Market Game.

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