Hawaii participation seen
doubling in student stock game

Two state organizations form
a partnership to help youngsters
learn about the market

Taking stock

The Stock Market Stimulation is open to students in grades one through 12. There is no charge to participate.

>> Web site:
>> Spring competition: Feb. 9 to April 16.
>> Information: 587-7400.

An investment from the state likely will double the volume of students who participate in the Hawaii- Stock Market Simulation this spring.

The Hawaii Council on Economic Education yesterday signed a partnership agreement with the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs' Securities Education Program.

"The Stock Market Simulation program is both a fun and real life way for Hawaii's public and private school students to increase their economic and financial literacy," said DCCA Director Mark Recktenwald. "By gaining an understanding of the securities markets, students can learn about the importance of saving and investing."

The Hawaii-Stock Market Simulation is an interactive tool that helps Hawaii students learn how the U.S. market system works. Student teams manage a hypothetical $100,000 portfolio and invest in stocks, bonds and mutual funds over a 10-week period. Led by their teachers, students use a computerized program to analyze actual market data and make investment choices and decisions.

Students with Internet access can follow the progress of their portfolios online, research stocks, enter trades and see their weekly division ranking. A paper-based version of the game is available for teams without Internet access.

"Students are never to young to learn the principals of saving and investing and the difference between investing and speculating," said Ryan Ushijima, commissioner of securities for DCCA.

Teachers, who receive continuing education credits from the state, are provided with lesson plans, curriculum guidelines and other instruction assistance. The partnership will allow teachers on the neighboring islands to attend an informational workshop, too.

After the contest ends, board members from the Hawaii Council on Economic Education will review portfolios and determine which team in the state produced the best-balanced results.

Last year, about 1,000 students participated in the program, but that number is expected to double as a result of the partnership with the DCCA's Business Registration Division, said Kristine Castagnaro, executive director of the economic education council.

While the focus of the game is to learn about investing, additional benefits include learning about economics, doing research on the Internet and improving math skills, she said.

The contest and programs like it are especially important to students as the possibility looms that economic education in school could be significantly reduced. The graduation task force is considering reducing the number of required social studies credits, which would result in fewer economic classes, she said.

The Stock Market Stimulation, which is offered in the fall and spring semesters, for grades one through 12, was created in 1977 and has seen more than 8 million participants nationwide since its inception.


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