After picking stocks that propelled them to the front of the class, students from Grissom Middle School took first, second, and third place in the Grades 4-8 division of the fall session of The Stock Market Game (SMG), an online portfolio simulation competition. The teams invested $100,000 in virtual cash and competed against more than 13,000 middle school and high school students from across Illinois as part of their Geoeconomics curriculum in Kirby School District 140.
Geoeconomics Teacher Mrs. Elizabeth Zawilinski and her winning teams beat out over 177 other teams and were recognized with medals and award certificates for sweeping the top three spots in their division.
Grissom’s first place team included eighth graders Mariam Samara, Noah Haglund, and Jack Wharry. These students increased their original $100,000 investment to a final portfolio equity of $119,378.35 and outperformed the S & P 500 for the same period by 11.88%.
The second place team included sixth graders Brooke Ramirez, Judah Van Engen, Sean McGann, and Grace Kelly. Their team’s final portfolio equity was $114,529.74, outperforming the S & P 500 for the same period by 7.03%.
The third place team included eighth graders Evan Weber, Bayan Alameria, Femi Biju, and Christian Diaz. Their team’s final portfolio equity was $112,709.76, outperforming the S & P 500 for the same period by 5.21%.
“The goal of the program is to teach financial literacy,” said Zawilinski. “It’s a great way to explore critical problem solving and teach money management skills to students at a young age."
The Stock Market Game™ (SMG) program is a project-based learning activity used in thousands of classrooms nationwide to help teach core academic subjects while emphasizing the importance of long-term saving and investing. Students work together in teams to conduct research and invest their hypothetical $100,000 cash account into stocks, bonds and mutual funds to grow their portfolio over time. Through their participation, students gain practical knowledge about our capital markets, including concepts like risk and diversification. While the students think they're playing a game, their teachers know they’re learning real-life economic and financial skills that will benefit them for years to come.
Since its inception in Illinois in 1988, the SMG program has engaged more than 610,000 Illinois students. The SMG program, designed for grade 4-12 teachers and their students, is provided by Econ Illinois and administered by Northern Illinois University.