Students learn about stock market and more in unique program
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RALEIGH -- Hundreds of North Carolina students are learning the ins and outs of the stock market. They are using virtual money to buy and sell stocks online in the SMG or stock market game.
It's not unusual for students to use computers in the classroom. It's how they are using them that makes this lesson unique.
"What they do is they research stocks and they research companies and then they decide if they want to buy or sell in that stock or company," said business education teacher Loresha Phillips.
It's part of what's known as the stock market game, a learning tool used in schools across the state. The program allows students to build a portfolio with a virtual $100,000 at their disposal.
And because Fidelity Investments is sponsoring a challenge among all eight graders, they get some occasional help from the experts. The students are responding. Not only are they processing the information but they're making sound decisions, having adult conversations and even keeping up with current events.
"When Steve Jobs, when he passed a couple weeks ago, half of my class came in... 'Ms. Phillips! Did you know Steve Jobs died! Did you look at the stock? The stock went down," said Phillips.
State education leaders say the real proof of the game's impact can be seen through standardized test scores.
"A study was done by Learning Points Associates that found that students that participated in the stock market game in grades four through eight had significantly higher scores on standardized math tests," said Sandy Wheat, with the N.C. Council on Economic Education. "They gained almost a full school year in math test scores versus their peers who were not utilizing the program."
And so far, there's only been one complaint from students.
"At the beginning, we kind of thought we would keep the money we had leftover," said student Matthew Oertel.