Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) from Blue Ridge Community College have created an educational game to teach high school students about financial markets. Global Nation is meant to give players a better understanding of how economic events can affect a country’s business environment, the country itself, the world and their own portfolios.
"Subprime mortgage, credit restrictions, the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan — these are all things kids hear about in the news yet they don't know how it affects them," said Rebecca M. Evans, associate professor of accounting at Blue Ridge and business and SIFE advisor.
In Global Nation students receive $10,000 to invest and create their own portfolio using commodities manufactured and produced in the United States. By increments of $500 they invest in everything from oil to corn to cattle to travel. With a roll of the dice, positive and negative events will occur impacting each player differently. The game can be played individually or in teams. Read More...
The Blue Ridge SIFE team was among 50 groups selected by the Goldman Sachs Foundation Capital Markets Program to be trained to teach concepts related to capital markets and capital formation to high school students in their local communities.
"Our team was selected to go into high schools and teach students financial literacy, investment portfolios and the stock markets because there is such a lack of knowledge," said Evans.
"There are a lot of adults that can't tell you the difference between a bear and a bull market. Most adults don't even understand how the things happening in the world affect their investments. They're learning the hard way now."
In March 2009, the game was presented to students of Robert E. Lee High School, in Virginia. C.J. Peckham, 17, made $78,462 in less than an hour, leading his classmates. "My stock market crashed a couple of times, but other than that my investments increased a lot," said Peckham. "I thought it was pretty fun. It shows how the economy can go up and down. There were a couple of times where I just lost everything."
"It's a game, and it gets [student’s] attention more than just talking about it because they are actually doing something," said Alexis Green, a member of the SIFE team and fashion marketing student at Blue Ridge.