SCMS students place 2nd in Stock Market Game
by Mark Andrews
Dec 21, 2012 | 2311 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Winning stock pickers Carah Camron, Heavyn Kennedy, Ali Gibson and their teacher Jason Kornegay meet in a computer lab at South Central Middle School where the students pick stocks online. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Winning stock pickers Carah Camron, Heavyn Kennedy, Ali Gibson and their teacher Jason Kornegay meet in a computer lab at South Central Middle School where the students pick stocks online. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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South Central Middle School seventh-grade students Carah Camron, Heavyn Kennedy and Ali Gibson recently finished second in the Georgia Council on Economic Education’s Stock Market Game, competing with more than 3,900 teams. By playing the game, the team theoretically made approximately $63,000 in 10 weeks.

Students are given the scenario of having $100,000 in fake money and can borrow up to $100,000 extra in bonds. The stock can’t be lower than $5 and students have to own at least three stocks for three consecutive weeks.

“We bought CELG, which stands for Celgene Corporation, and it is a company that sells drugs for cancer and we just watched it throughout the game,” team member Carah Camron said. “We were really down at the beginning, but then after Thanksgiving it went up a few dollars.”

SCMS social studies teacher and coach Jason Kornegay added, “They basically lost $34,000 [in the beginning], but from there it went up about $3, and they were actually in first place off and on for two weeks.”

The school is making a tradition of being successful in the state-wide game, which pits middle schools against middle and high schools across the state. The school’s teams were ranked in first place and second place in previous competitions and this year there were five teams from SCMS who competed.

“At first I was really nervous and scared that we wouldn’t even get in the top 10, but once I noticed our team was doing well, I was like, ‘Whoa, this is actually pretty fun,’” Ali Gibson said. She explained students involved with the game would check stocks online every day as well as research trends within the market via Yahoo! Finance.

“I didn’t know much about the stock market at first, so I’ve pretty much learned everything through [the game],” Gibson said. “I learned that you got money for every dollar you put in [the stock market], I thought you only got money when it would rise.”

Heavyn Kennedy said the team used Yahoo! Finance to determine CELG as the pick to invest the majority of their $100,000.

“The analysts that look at the stocks, they said [CELG] was [ranked] 1.3 and we learned a 5 [ranking] was really bad,” Kennedy said.

Kornegay said the intent of the game is to help expose students to the stock market.

“They can’t really understand the ups and downs of how a stock can be up one day and down the same day, but I think they did a great job ... they followed the rules and they gained a better understanding of basically what [the stock market] is,” Kornegay said. “We’re trying to plant the seed in seventh grade of what the stock market is and why people put money in the stock market.”

Kennedy said she now has a better understanding of how the stock market functions.

“We didn’t know if we were going to gain money or lose money — it’s really a waiting game,” Kennedy said.

The team said Hawkin Starke, who moved before the game was over, was integral to the team’s success.