Students from District 196 schools recently received recognition for their performance in the Junior High Division of the Year Long Session of The Stock Market Game in Minnesota.

Freddy Deichler in Mary Spychalla’s class at Valley Middle School of STEM took fourth place. Hareesh Kumar Ranganath Shekhar, Suhaas Pothula, and Abhishek Sekhar in Eric Schmidt’s class at Dakota Hills Middle School took fifth place.

The SMG is a national, interactive learning program for students in grades 4-12, managed locally by Minnesota nonprofit, BestPrep. Students work in teams to invest a virtual $100,000 over a 14-week period, competing with other students for the highest-valued portfolio.

Because SMG uses an online platform, students were able to continue their participation during distance and hybrid learning. Each SMG team has access to online daily portfolio updates on their current holdings, brokerage fees, and team rankings. Students monitor their portfolio throughout the session and determine when to buy, sell, or hold investments.

The Year Long session was an especially interesting learning opportunity for the students, who experienced investing and the stock market during a global health pandemic and an election year.

“The Stock Market Game is an excellent tool for real-world learning because students are actually engaging in the stock market in real time. Students see and understand the effect of the financial choices they make, allowing them to make connections to factors that impact the market. This is an invaluable skill they learn, and knowledge that will benefit them long-term,” said Stephanie Musgrove, program manager at BestPrep.

For the third year, SMG team fees were waived for District 196 students thanks to support from Schwab Advisor Services and funding from Charles Schwab Foundation.

Students and teachers recently celebrated remotely in a live, virtual awards ceremony. Spychalla’s students, Schmidt’s students, and other top-ranking teams from the Junior High Division were recognized with a keynote message by Jay Robinson, regional vice president in advisor services for Charles Schwab. Students also participated in a question-and-answer session with Robinson.

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