Utah State Treasurer David Damschen applauds the winners of the Fall 2020 Stock Market Game. More than 2,900 students from across the state participated, competing in elementary, middle school and high school divisions. The top three teams within each division are represented by 21 students in total.
The Stock Market Game is a 10-week simulation of Wall Street trading that provides a framework for Utah students to learn about the U.S. economy and financial markets. The game is designed for classroom use to help students understand investing, the economy, sources and uses of capital and related concepts in an integrated manner. During the game, students invest a hypothetical $100,000 in common stocks and diversified investment funds on the major exchanges. Teams are ranked based on the ending value of their investment portfolios.
The Office of State Treasurer typically hosts an awards banquet to honor the winners of the Stock Market Game. To help slow the community spread of COVID-19, the awards banquets for the spring and fall 2020 games were cancelled. In lieu of these events, the office has worked with teachers to arrange alternative events, such as school visits featuring classroom pizza celebrations.
A team of two Nibley Elementary School students in Mr. Michael Torrey’s class, Somnaang Udy and Alexander Droge, placed first in the elementary division. Udy said, “We liked the excitement of coming to school every day to see if our stocks had gone up and if we had made money or potentially lost money. Mr. Torrey taught us how to look up stocks using Yahoo Finance. We would choose stocks based on their news and whether or not we thought it would make their stocks go up or down.”
Droge added, “We also learned to read stock charts. We would find a stock’s yearly highs and lows and then would compare them to what the stock’s predicted yearly stock price should be. If a stock was well below the predicted yearly stock price, we would discuss and look at the news to decide if we thought that the stock had the potential to rise enough to make us money. Oftentimes, that strategy worked well for us. We made sure to have a variety of stocks to make sure that if one stock went down, we didn’t lose too much money.”
Mr. Torrey emphasized the importance of teaching personal financial concepts and skills to students at all grade levels. “Financial literacy is as important in today’s world as any other subjects students learn, like science, reading and math. The financial lifestyle choices someone makes have a greater impact on the future of one’s life than almost any other decision someone makes,” Mr. Torrey said. “We are living in a world that is transitioning from physical money into a world that is primarily using crypto currency, Venmo transactions and credit card purchases. Students need to learn successful financial literacy skills so that they can thrive and be successful in today’s world. Managing one’s finances, stock market portfolios and retirement accounts is as crucial to one’s health as eating right and exercising regularly.”
HighMark Charter School students Colton Stone and Carson Shaffer placed third in the elementary division with Ms. Jen Davis as their advisor. In the students’ recorded video speech, Shaffer said, “We learned the difference between a private and a publicly owned company. Now that we know about the stock market, we can help other people, such as our parents, with their investments and give them a few tips.”
Ms. Kristin Kukahiko’s Shelley Elementary School students Kaydrie Anderson, Evelyn Marthis and Iris Martin placed second in the elementary division. In their recorded speech, Anderson said, “We were so happy when we found out that we won the Stock Market Game.” The team stated that they learned how stocks work, and Anderson added, “Our highest stocks were Tesla, Apple and Microsoft.”
Students had the opportunity to record a short video describing what they learned while playing the game and their plans to invest in the future. These videos are also posted on social media and to the office’s website.
“The Stock Market Game piques student interest in important concepts taught in the classroom by adding an element of competition,” Treasurer Damschen said. “I appreciate the outstanding efforts of teachers and students to improve their financial knowledge.”
The Fall 2020 Stock Market Game winning teams represent the following schools: Northridge High School in Davis School District, St. George Academy in Washington, Utah, Cedar City High School in Iron County School District, Timberline Middle School in Alpine School District, Central Davis Jr. High School in Davis School District, Legacy Jr. High School in Davis School District, Nibley Elementary School in Cache County School District, Shelley Elementary School in Alpine School District and HighMark Charter School in South Weber, Utah.