Cherokee Students Lead K-12 Stock Market Game

Cherokee Students Lead Statewide K-12 Stock Market Game
Posted on 05/03/2019
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photo of cherokee students participating in the stock market gameIf you’re new to the stock exchange, you might find good counsel in these sixth-graders at Cherokee Elementary: Benjamin Gill, Philip Lee, Evin Lodder and Gavin Halstead.

In a 10-week stock market simulation, the foursome made up a team that grew their investments by just over 14 percent, steadily holding the first place spot for most of the statewide competition and ultimately placing second to beat out more than 600 elementary through high school teams.

Starting with a pool of $100K, the team was challenged to study the stock market daily and invest their fictitious dollars for the highest possible return.

“I am constantly looking to incorporate teamwork, compromise and problem-solving, and this competition involved all of those skills,” said Cherokee’s gifted teacher, Erin Maddox, who found appeal in the game’s real world applications, career connections and pure competition. She also appreciated the math connections made through reading and interpreting graphs and calculating costs and potential gains of their investments.

Research was another critical skill, as her students turned to online resources like Yahoo Finance, financial experts, current events and even their parents for guidance on their decisions. Although there were very few disagreements over their investments, the group did have a procedure in place for such stalemates.

“If we couldn’t agree, we would first sleep on it,” said Gill, the team’s appointed director. “We would vote again the next day after reviewing more evidence.”

Their performance in the 10-week competition earned them an invite to the University of Cincinnati’s Economics Center to present their learnings and compete against other top teams for an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City. Although they fell short of the top spot, they walked away with something more valuable.

“Now we know how to invest in our money in the future,” said lead researcher Halstead. “I learned that you really have to put a lot of effort into research to do well.”

“They began to gain an understanding of the concept of ‘buy low, sell high’,” noted Maddox. “They also became more aware of current events and how those events impact the stocks and grew more strategic in their investments as the game went on.”

And in case you really are looking for investment guidance, among their advice: diversify your stocks; pay close attention to the graphs; buy a lot of cheap, well-performing stocks; don’t sell at rock bottom; and above all else, high risk means high reward.