District 163 Stock Market Team Is Among Top Rankings in State

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A fifth grade team in the honors class housed at Park Forest-Chicago Heights School District 163’s Mohawk Intermediate Center won a third place ranking out of 250 elementary and high school teams in the Illinois Capitol 2012 Stock Market Game.

Caryn Blair, Anyah Bennett, Camara Thomas, and Khalia Smith comprise the third place winning KCA team. They worked together from October to December to increase their hypothetical stake of $100,000 to $113,304, a 17 percent return. The team outperformed the S and P 500 by nearly 10 percent, according to teacher Danielle Gladstone. All of the students in Ms. Gladstone’s class participated in The Stock Market Game, as Ms. Gladstone’s students have done in the past. One of the teams in Ms. Gladstone’s class currently participating in the spring Stock Market Game competition is in seventh place.

Ms. Gladstone related that the game provides an opportunity for students to invest their hypothetical funds in an online portfolio. The students look at money in percents and use their analytical skills to make decisions on stock purchases and sales. Working in teams, the students research stocks, decide what to buy, track the stock, and hold it or sell it based on its activity. Each team has a banker, researcher, statistician, and numbers cruncher. At least 100 shares of a stock must be purchased. The fifth graders check their online portfolios daily and keep graphs that chart their stocks’ performance.  The teams also keep a log of each stock’s purchase and sold prices. They learn about stocks through their research and through their daily experiences.

“The game helps students become financially literate.  Initially, only high school students were eligible to play the Stock Market Game, but we expanded it to include elementary schools several years ago. This is the first year that students below the middle school level have ranked among the top three teams,” related Debbie Kermon, program director of the Stock Market Game, and Lori Berkes-Nelson, executive director of Econ Illinois. Both were on hand for an awards presentation at Mohawk for the KCA team. Parents also attended the event.

Additionally, John Hatcher, a student in Ms. Gladstone’s class and member of another stock market team, took first place in Governors State University’s annual Economics Poster Contest. John’s poster explained the economics concept of scarcity using the iPhone as an example.