Students earn big in stock contest

Local seventh-graders recently took the top spots in a challenge that helped them build skills for the future.

Joan Wade’s seventh-grade math class at Wapakoneta Middle School split into five teams, and three of the teams took the top three spots in the Ohio Stock Market Challenge, a regional program offered through Wright State University.

“This is a good learning tool,” Wade said of the program. “The kids really got into it.”

The students formed teams to create and manage a hypothetical portfolio of stocks, bonds and mutual funds via personal computer, and this challenge was open to fourth-graders through high school seniors.

Each of the five teams, which consisted of five teammates each, in Wade’s class had $100,000 in “imaginary funds” to invest, and cash prizes and awards are to be presented to the top three teams in each division — elementary, middle and high school.

“They did research on what they wanted to invest in,” Wade said.

This contest ran from Oct. 18 to Dec. 14, and Wade said the students researched toward Black Friday investments.

“They purchased things they think would sell,” Wade said.

The students worked at least twice a week with their group on this computer-based program.

“For some of them, they spent too much money,” Wade said. “So it taught them the value of money and investing and seeing the value in it.”

Wade talked with Chad Metzger, who is a financial adviser with Edward Jones, about the project to learn more about the stock market and investing. The skills that the students learned showed them the appreciation of investing and

investing might be something they look into in the future.

“I learned a lot,” seventh-grader Caleb Schlenker said. “Mainly, we learned to work as a group. We had to work as a group and agree on it. We had to stay disciplined.”

Schlenker was a member of the second place group in the regional division of the Ohio Stock Market Challenge through Wright State University.

“It definitely makes you think,” Schlenker said.

Classmate Joel Roediger agreed.

“We had to make sure stocks were going up and do research on them and that they were still going to go up in the future,” Roediger said. “If they didn’t go up, we had to get rid of them.”

Roediger was a member of the team that took the first place spot in the challenge.

“I learned teamwork,” Roediger said.

Before going into the challenge, Roediger said he knew a little bit about the stock market and investing.

“I enjoyed it,” Roediger said. “I learned quite a bit.”

Roediger and Schlenker were happy with the way things turned out in the challenge.

“I felt pretty accomplished,” Roediger said.

The groups did most of their trading in school, and some of the work they did outside of class.

Wade’s two other teams in her class placed sixth and ninth in the challenge. There were approximately 20 teams who competed in the regional competition through Wright State University.