by Cori Hilsgen
Adults aren’t the only people interested in what happens with the daily rise and fall of investments in the stock market. Several area students are also learning about the market.
At Sartell Middle School, the students began playing the Stock Market Game from 7:45-8:20 a.m. Tuesday mornings in late January and will continue through May 2.
Lori Dornburg is a teacher of family and consumer science and academic extensions coordinator at Sartell Middle School.
“The Stock Market Game is an online simulation of the global capital markets that engages students in grades four-12 in the world of economics, investing and personal finance and prepares them for financially independent futures,” Dornburg said.
More than 600,000 students participate each school year across the United States. The program has reached 17 million students since it began in 1977.
Students at Sartell Middle School have been participating in the Stock Market Game for more than 10 years.
SMS sixth-grader Eli Hanson has participated for two years, joining as a fifth-grader. He decided to join after he heard about it on school announcements because he said it sounded fun. Hanson said understanding how the stock market works and seeing the stocks perform well is the best part of participating. The hardest thing, he noted, is deciding what to invest in, what to buy and sell and the best time to do that. After two years, he now does more research on what stocks to buy and sell and what will make the most money.
Hanson said he does most of his research on Yahoo Finance. Dave and Buster’s has been the best stock purchase during the past two years. Dave and Buster’s is a sports-bar-style restaurant which also offers arcade games.
Stock Market Game volunteer Ben Trnka, a professor of accounting and finance at St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict, has volunteered with the program for two years.
Trnka said the program offers students a chance to learn about investments in a fun, engaging environment. It also helps them develop critical-thinking skills by evaluating current events and making judgments about what will happen in the market as a result. The game helps students work together as a team toward a common goal.
In addition, Trnka noted the Stock Market Game helps students gain a fundamental knowledge of money and investing while also helping them practice math, English language arts, economics, social studies and other skills.