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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Students learn about stocks and mutual funds with computer-simulated game

Students from Thoreau, Roswell, Mescalero, Deming and Santa Rosa took top honors in the fall 2004 Stock Market Game sponsored by New Mexico State University's College of Business Administration and Economics and the New Mexico Securities Division.


te championship was captured by Thoreau High School students ShaMarie Tom (captain), Michelle Smith, Tomasina Mariano and Melinda Garcia under the guidance of teacher Bruce Lewis. The team began with $100,000 and finished 10 weeks later with $212,439. In second place with a $140,139 was a team of sixth grade students from Sierra Middle School in Roswell. Students Cynthia Gonzales (captain), Bethany Vargas, Kimberly Wheeler and Alexandria Ornelas were advised by teacher Michelle Niece. Third place in the statewide competition was snagged by high school students Sierra Shanta (captain) and Thomasina Treas-Wilson of Mescalero Apache Schools. They were guided by teacher John Vlaun.

First place in the Bull Division (grades 9-12) of the Essay Contest went to Sabre Parnell of Deming High School (teacher, Noel Nunez) and the top essay in the Bear Division (grades 4-8) was submitted by Jenner W. Hedges of Santa Rosa Middle School (teacher, Olen J. Hedges).

An innovative method for teaching a wide variety of subjects, the Stock Market Game is a computer simulated competition which was played this fall by almost 3,200 New Mexico participants. "The stock market was very cooperative this fall, especially after the presidential election. This not only made our program more fun for the students, it stimulated their interest in national events and how they affect our country's economical system," said Dorothy Hughes, Stock Market Game coordinator at NMSU. Registration fees were eliminated last spring due to funding provided by Cabrera Capital Markets Inc. Hughes said there was a 70 percent increase in student teams over the previous fall and turnout at teacher workshops was excellent.

Stock Market Game teams begin with an imaginary $100,000 and during a 10-week period each semester make transactions with real stocks and mutual funds traded on the three major U.S. stock exchanges on which they are given actual closing prices. Players may buy, sell, short sell and short cover. All transactions are charged a 2 percent broker fee. Teams may buy on margin and are charged 7 percent interest. Teams receive 5 percent interest on cash balances and receive dividends that are paid on stocks in their portfolios during the game. The goal is to increase the value of the portfolio as much as possible in 10 weeks. The portfolios and ranking reports are updated daily.

The Stock Market Game? is the only stock market simulation-based educational program endorsed nationally by both the industry (the Securities Industry Association) and the regulators of the industry (the Securities & Exchange Commission).

The game is played on the Internet. Teams conduct all their transactions and perform much of their research online, aided by a number of other educational resources and Web sites, many of which are available only to registered SMG teachers and students. A Teacher Support Center is available to view team portfolios, take online tutorials, plan lessons and access the Learning Resource Center where many downloadable lesson plans and exercises are available.

Each semester the top state, regional and essay contest winners in New Mexico are given plaques, T-shirts and certificates, and every participating teacher's top team members are awarded certificates. More than 300 awards were presented this fall, Hughes said. In addition, winners from both fall and spring semesters are invited to attend an awards luncheon in May.

Other New Mexico winners include: Northern High Division - (First Place) Bruce Lewis' students at Thoreau High School and (Second Place) Noel Hager's students at Sandia High School. Southern High Division - (First Place) Dan Kennedy's students at Clovis High School and (Second Place) Tony Mendoza's students at Roswell High School. Northern Middle Division - (First and Second Place) Louise Watkins' students at Thoreau Middle School. Southern Middle Division - (First Place) Curtis Crane's students at Mountain View Middle School in Alamogordo and (Second Place) Michelle Niece's students at Sierra Middle School in Roswell. Elementary Division - (First and Second Place) Olen J. Hedges' students at Santa Rosa Elementary School.

Before the game each semester, Hughes offers training workshops during which game rules, research techniques, classroom uses of the program and general investing information are provided. Anyone interested can contact Hughes at (505) 646-3690 or dhughes@nmsu.edu. More information is available at http://www.stockmarketgame.org.