Two James. H. Vernon School students were top winners in the regional Stock Market Game at the elementary level. Fourth-grader Warren Petit won first place and fifth-grader Kieran Dunne took third place for successfully managing a hypothetical portfolio of stocks, bonds and mutual funds while competing against other school districts in the area. Students played the Stock Market Game throughout the year in the school’s gifted and talented program, Atlantis, led by teacher Ms. Joanne Loring.
“This is very exciting for our students and our school,” said Ms. Loring. “We are so proud of their efforts.”
Students had $100,000 of virtual money to invest and made trades via computer or smartphone using actual ticker symbols of companies/funds and watched their portfolio value change with the market. Students typically work in teams, but because of the pandemic, they worked independently this year, using different strategies to gain success.
“I was down to 30, but then I bought Game Stop and it blew up,” Warren said as he gestured with his hands. “I tried to buy other things, but I was losing money, so I decided to stick with Game Stop and stay where I was, and I won.”
“I found a few stocks that were low but were doing good, so I bought a ton of them,” said Kieran. “They went up and I made a lot of money. I also had a bunch of major stocks in the beginning that made big jumps like Tesla, and I used those to help me get through.”
According to Ms. Loring, the Stock Market Game is played by fourth, fifth and sixth graders in the Atlantis program and gives students opportunities to develop their research and critical thinking skills. Fourth graders, who are new to the game, learn what a stock is and how they can buy and sell stock, short sell stock, and other investing principles. Fifth graders build on those principles and look at more sophisticated ways of investing. Sixth graders learn about socially responsible investing, sustainability, and other higher-level concepts, leading them to use stronger investment strategies.
“There’s a lot of mathematical concepts behind what we do,” Ms. Loring added. “Kieran spent a lot of time actively trading his portfolio almost every day and making fine adjustments. Warren had some big gains in Game Stop, and he was able to capitalize on that. They played the game very well. I’m really proud of them.”
As winners, Warren and Kieran each received a medal and certificate, and a tote bag filled various gifts. In addition to a gift bag, Ms. Loring received a “Stock Market Game 2020-21 Winner” banner to hang in her classroom.
Pictured with Stock Market Game award winners Warren Petit and Kieran Dunne are Atlantis teacher Ms. Joanne Loring, left, and James H. Vernon School Principal Dr. Valerie Vacchio.