Five eighth-grade girls at St. Francis-St. Stephen’s School in Geneva think the stock market is just the “bee’s knees.”
Well, The Bees Knees is actually the name of the team the girls formed when their class participated in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle‘s Stock Market Simulation. On Feb. 23, the 22 students in Joan Leonard’s eighth-grade math and technology class split up into five groups and began participating in the simulation, which ran for 10 weeks.
The Democrat and Chronicle Stock Market Simulation provides a way for students to learn about the stock market and investment strategies without using or losing real money. Students participating in the simulation start with a hypothetical $100,000 that they can invest in stocks of their choice. Through links on the Democrat and Chronicle‘s Stock Market Simulation Web site, students and teachers can research a stock’s past performance, access market watch and popular investment sites — such as MSN Money Central and TheStreet.com — and learn more about the stock market in general.
Leonard said her students took their research a step further, asking their families, friends and adults who were involved in the market for their recommendations. The students seemed to pick up the art of stock trading quickly, and enjoyed working on the simulation project, Leonard said.
Lauren Post, 14; Christina Annony, 14; Taylor Solano, 13; Alyssa Liberatore, 14; and Mariah Venturino, 13, made up The Bees Knees, which placed second regionally and was one of the top 20 teams statewide. More than 360 teams made up of students in grades four through 12 participated in the simulation, according to Molly Rule, Newspaper in Education school coordinator for the Democrat and Chronicle.
Rule visited the school on June 8 to present the five girls with certificates, second-place ribbons, a trophy and a bag of prizes, including a T-shirt and a tiny blue radio with headphones. Bees Knees team members said they enjoyed picking out stocks that looked like they were doing well, and by the end of the project, they had more than $105,000.
Leonard said that watching her students do so well in the simulation was “a real rush. I thought it was a really great thing. It was a project that they didn’t mind doing.”
The students worked on the simulation a little bit every day in their math and technology classes, and it was a “major project,” according to Christina.
“It was enjoyable. I couldn’t wait to do it every day,” Alyssa said.
Mike Thomas’s economics class at Geneva’s DeSales High School also participated in the simulation. Andrew Baran, Tracey Buell, Amber Hagadorn, Charlotte Koch, Krista Johnson, Marcy Mason and Seth Pohorence made up the team, which finished in eighth place statewide.