Elementary students top state competition
By Pamela Johnson
Reporter-Herald Staff Writer
Posted: Sun Dec 16 19:11:40 MST 2018
Loveland elementary school students were trading more than snacks at lunch last semester, dabbling instead in a virtual stock market.
Students in the gifted and talented classes at Carrie Martin and Stansberry Elementary Schools spent eight weeks learning the ins and outs of the stock market as part of a special curriculum, and three Loveland students placed first and second in the state for the growth in their portfolios.
"It would be great if every student could do it," said Maria Armijo-Turain, teacher at both schools. "It incorporated math, writing, social studies and all kinds of reasoning and critical thinking skills."
The Stock Market Experience was part of an economic literacy unit that teaches students about earning, spending, saving, investing and donating money. Through the class, the students researched stocks and decided how to invest their $100,000; then, they virtually invested the money, tweaked those investments, and watched how their decisions paid off in real time.
At the end of eight weeks, the simulation looked at how 136 participants statewide stacked up against each other on the elementary-middle school and high school levels. A team of fifth-graders from Carrie Martin, Josiah Crill and Bradyn Cronin placed first, while fourth-grader Aidan Coble placed second.
The first-place students ended with 4.3 percent in profit, while Aidan ended with 3.2 percent.
"They all really understood how you can grow money from money, how long-term is important," said Armijo-Turain. "They understood how to look out in the world and see it differently."
Other local students also placed in the top 10. From Stansberry, Charlie Funk took fourth, Manny Ediger placed sixth and the team of Alyssa White, Kayla Jacobs and Makaya Fink placed seventh.
"It kind of made me want to think about having it as my career," said Alyssa, who is in fifth-grade, explaining that she liked the strategy of researching and deciding how to invest.
The students described how important it is to diversify and to look into the different stocks first as well as how to decide how much to invest in each different company. Charlie Funk spoke of how, if you invest in different companies, you won't lose as much if one drops.
"I loved it," said Charlie, also a fifth-grade student.
Added Alyssa, "It really helped me learn saving and investing, and I thought it was a great experience. I really enjoyed it."
The first- and second-place winners won $100 and $50 respectively, and the overall classes won $100. Armijo-Turain says the classes will use the $100 as seed money for an entrepreneurial fair in the spring in which the students market goods or services in hopes of at least doubling their money.
And the amount they end up with after the fair will be spent on the giving piece of the lesson by paying for student-created plans to address water issues.
"They're raising money, earning money and donating," said Armijo-Turain. "We're giving them the whole 360 personal financial experience ... The importance is learning personal financial literacy early."
Pamela Johnson: 970-699-5405, firstname.lastname@example.org