Sun04202014

Schools

St. Nicholas students win big in stock market

Photo Courtesy Of Christa Patrick

St. Nicholas teacher Maureen Velasquez and her students, from left, Matthew Keeth, Malcolm Davis, Amelia Annen, Saachi Marfatia, Sofia Jones and Adriana Frazier celebrate their victory in the Stock Market Game.

St. Nicholas School sixth-graders fielded two winning teams in the Securities Industry Financial Market Association Foundation’s Stock Market Game.

Both teams finished in second place for elementary schools in the 15-week game division. The teams included students Amelia Annen, Malcolm Davis, Adriana Frazier, Sofia Jones, Matthew Keeth and Saachi Marfatia.

Teams from schools throughout the United States begin with an initial investment of a virtual cash account of $100,000. The object is to accumulate the best-performing portfolio by simulating live trading. Teammates practice leadership, organization, negotiation and cooperation skills as they compete for the largest return on investment.

St. Nicholas sixth-grade teacher Maureen Velasquez credited the program with promoting group decision-making skills that apply in real-life situations.

Students use Internet research and news updates to mirror the real marketplace. While students find the competitive game exciting, the educational experience delivers the biggest impact.

The game employs academic skills such as math, economics, language arts, technology and social studies, and demands competence in critical thinking, decision-making, cooperation and communication. The students acquire economic and financial concepts they can use in the classroom and later in life.

Bank of America hosted an awards ceremony in San Francisco for the teams and their teachers, where the students described the effects of the competition.

“Before getting involved in the Stock Market Game, I didn’t know anything about stocks or what the stock market was,” Malcolm said. “I knew what companies were, but I had no idea you could buy a part of a company.”

One of the teams invested in a company where a teammate’s father was employed and in popular companies such as Verizon.

“We chose stocks we were most comfortable with. We have grown up hearing about new electronics, so we chose Apple as one of our stocks,” Sofia said. “Google also seemed like a natural choice, because we use it almost every day for research.”

Both teams followed their companies’ performances in the stock market, traced the company histories and compared trends before making investment decisions.

“It made me happy to see that teamwork really can get us success,” Saachi said.

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