PURVIS fifth-graders win state stock market game

Investing early in Roku – a California company that manufactures a variety of streaming players – paid off for Purvis fifth-graders Camdyn Powell and Austyn Owens. Their market savvy pushed them to first place in the Region 6 fall elementary school division of the Mississippi Stock Market Game.

Roku also made big dividends for a trio of their classmates – Morgan Foss, Cody Foster and Joshua Anderson – who finished third in the regional competition.

Powell and Owens managed to make a profit of $11,515.68 with their initial $100,000 investments during a 13-week period, outperforming Standard & Poor’s by 2.1 percent. The victory earned them $150.

For Foss, Foster and Anderson, the team had a return of 2.3 percent in its portfolio, growing to $107,080.49. They collected $50 in winnings for third place.

The students are members of Purvis Upper Elementary School’s gifted class of Amy Rogers. The teams were honored at the Mississippi Council on Economic Education’s annual awards ceremony on May 8.

Rogers said she has been using the Stock Market Game in classes for several years. “And, this is not the first time I have had kids place in the Top 3.”

Powell touched on the power of Roku for her team.

“We had bought Roku when it first came out, so it couldn’t really go down,” she said. “So, it just went up for us.”

Rogers said the girls made $9,232 just on Roku investments.

“They checked the Internet every day, like MSN Money, Yahoo Money and different financial websites,” she said.

Amazon, Roku and Starbucks proved to be the strongest return on investments, and the students were also familiar with the companies. Rogers said the fifth-graders learned about the stock market and honed their math skills.

“The neatest part is that it’s a simulation,” she said. “But yet, it’s dependent on real life. If people really lost money, then they did too. If people in real life made money, they did too. They got to feel the actual gains and losses like a real investor.”

Rogers said when the teams saw the stocks falling, “they pitched them.”

“The girls had a very diverse portfolio,” she said. “They found this Nvidia (which studies artificial intelligence and graphics processors) and other things that were not mainstream. When they researched the websites, a lot of things came up.”

The introduction of certain products also spurred interest in the stock market, Rogers said.

“We got excited when the self-tying shoe came out from Nike,” she said. “Turns out that wasn’t enough to build up Nike.”

The curriculum used in the Stock Market Game is correlated with Mississippi College and Career Ready Standards. Teachers report that math scores increase when the Stock Market Game is used in the classroom.

The Stock Market Game is an online education program used in thousands of classrooms nationwide to help teach math, social studies, business, economics and language skills. Students in grades 4-12 participate in teams and manage a simulated investment portfolio during the school year. The Stock Market Game is made possible by the support of more than 600 securities firms, combined with grass-roots support in schools and communities. It is the only stock market simulation supported by the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Sponsors for the 2017-18 Stock Market Game program are Atmos Energy, BancorpSouth, Entergy, Office of the Attorney General’s Making Sense of Your Dollars Program, Regions Bank and Trustmark National Bank.

The Mississippi Council for Economic Education offers comprehensive, K-12 economic, personal finance and entrepreneurial education programs, including the basics of entrepreneurship, consisting of teaching resources across the curriculum, professional development for teachers, and nationally-normed assessment instruments.

Programming is delivered largely through the six Centers on Economic Education at Delta State University, Millsaps College, Jackson State University, Mississippi State University, University of Mississippi and the University of Southern Mississippi in partnership with the Mississippi Department of Education.