The simulated trading floor, crowded with 42 teaMs. consisting of 168 students, was reminiscent of the days when traders frantically rushed about buying and selling for clients, while constantly referring to a huge screen ticking stock values in real time. Each team started with $500,000 in fake money to buy from 26 stocks in a mock trade for a fast paced 2 hours representing 60 days. They had to take into account stock prices and how their values might be affected by weather and unexpected mock news releases. Calculating current and future stock values against the news tips, students rushed to get the attention of traders in order to make their investments.
Business Marketing teacher, Ms. Rebecca McInnis prepared her students well for the competition. “I chose the team based on student interest. All of my students had the opportunity to take a quiz based on knowledge and understanding of the 26 companies used in the challenge, such as utilities, an exclusive resort and environmental technology companies, and how the news can affect the value of stocks. The top 4 scorers became the Southeastern Regional team.”
Ms. McInnis was pleased with the experience and sees its value beyond the event. “It was an incredible experience and a huge confidence booster for my students. Most Americans don’t understand or participate in the stock market. These students won’t be intimidated by it because they have experienced it first hand. Business Marketing students have to understand finance and the free enterprise. The stock market is a huge piece of that.”
Team members agree. “I had learned how to make and read spreadsheets before and picked stocks ahead of time that we wanted to use. We picked as a group. Each of us studied stocks and chose our investments as a team. We chose the ones we thought would be most successful, prepared ourselves and studied the stocks,” said Brockton resident Sebastian Charles.
Lillian George of Elmwood looks to a future in the fashion business. “The stock market could come into play, so it may help me in the future.”
Ashlyn Monat of Norton came away with a better understanding of the stock market. “It will help me if I ever decide to invest in anything.”
“It helped me see a different side of marketing that I didn’t see before,” said Edryijha (Sarah) Santos of Stoughton. “I learned to work under pressure, which is a tool I will need.”
According to the Junior Achievement New England website at www.janewengland.org, “This competition provides students with an outstanding experience, including lessons on how the stock market operates, how to invest in trade in a real-time situation, and the importance of teamwork.” Although this was the first year Southeastern Regional has participated in the Stock Market Challenge, they finished in the top half of competitors, and look forward to future opportunities in partnership with Junior Achievement.
Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School is a public 9-12 vocational high school located in South Easton, Massachusetts, serving approximately 1,277 students from the city of Brockton and the towns of East Bridgewater, Easton, Foxborough, Mansfield, Norton, Sharon, Stoughton, and West Bridgewater.