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Best of the Week 2020-2021: Teaching to the Future


This week, St. Ed's hosted the 2020 Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge, virtually connecting over 160 teams and 200 high school students from all over Ohio. Held in the Lowe Institute for Innovation, students had the opportunity to collaborate with each other, work with other high school students learning remotely, and had the advantage of competing and seeing their fellow peers' reactions in-person. The event also welcomed two St. Ed's alums back to campus, Dave Tadych '59 and Gary Fee '83, who helped mentor students throughout the challenge to navigate the markets in between rounds of investing. Bob Schenosky, Director of Entrepreneurial Solutions, along with Math teacher Dan Corcoran '07, Social Studies teacher Matt Levindofske, and three Junior Achievement representatives helped facilitate the three hour challenge as 15 teams of Edsmen competed in a day of simulated trading in the equity markets.

Students were provided with two, 30-minute sessions where each minute simulated a day of trading and how it was impacted by current events. Each team began the challenge with $1 million in their accounts and used their prior knowledge to make quick and thoughtful investing decisions. In their first year of participation, several St. Ed's teams placed in the top twenty with John (JT) Polito '22 as the highest ranked Edsman in the competition. "St. Ed's had a strong presence in the stock market challenge and represented the business program very well," says JT. "I learned early on that the competition was relatively based on recent events that have had a major impact on the stock market, like the COVID-19 pandemic. Knowing how the pandemic has impacted the stock market in real life, it was easy to apply that knowledge to the competition and choose to invest in the health market and financial service stocks." "The exciting part of it, from a teacher's perspective, is that the students can see an aspect of what Wall Street looks like and what equity traders do on a daily basis," says Mr. Schenosky. "I believe events like this are important for students to experience real world events through simulations rather than lectures so they can see firsthand how events impact the world of business and finance. While remote learning is a challenge for events like this due to the lack of in-person networking for students and teachers alike, Junior Achievement did an excellent job setting up a symbiotic experience for students competing both in-person and remote." "This stock market challenge helped me realize that you don't need to be a stockbroker or financial analyst to trade stocks successfully," says JT. "I took an interest in stocks and investing about a year ago. I thought it would take years to fully learn the numbers and metrics but it's really just about understanding the trends. I definitely feel like learning to invest smartly is an important skill for high school students to learn. If we can learn how to make money just by saving money, it can relieve so much financial stress as we enter adulthood, prepare for student loan payments and learn to live on our own."

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