WEDOWEE – Teachers are always trying to find ways to spark interest in students. Randolph-Roanoke Career Technical Center (RRCTC) business management instructor Quincy Potter wanted to find a unique way to attract more students into his class, have a fun way to teach money management and have an activity for the Future Business Leaders of America club. His solution was the Stock Market Game sponsored by the Alabama Council of Economic Education (ACEE). Each spring, the ACEE sponsors the contest where students enter in groups of five and compete on who can profit from the stock market. The contest started in February and lasted through April.
This year, Devin Cole (Woodland High School), Levi Hughes (Randolph County High School), Ada Runfola (RCHS) and Lacy Milam (RCHS) teamed up and placed eighth among the South. Another team composed of Damien Bryant (RCHS), James Fox (Woodland), Grace Nicholson (Wadley High School) and Brooklyn Milam (RCHS) placed 10th place among the South.
RRCTC placed first for having the highest portfolio equity average among the state with a total of $103,653 in equity. When Potter learned that his students had placed first among 1,201 teams in the state, he was shocked. He had coached students to not only look at the stock market numbers each day. He warned the students to think about environmental issues, such as the war with Ukraine and Russia, the rising energy prices, the if/and analysis (which is how did the stocks compare to last year), and trends of the day.
Throughout the entire period of the contest, the RRCTC groups always stayed in the top 100 in the state. The top investments the students made were in Devon Energy Corp, OSI and EPAM. “We paid very close attention to the companies we were interested in over numerous websites,” Devin Cole reflected. “We also took into account current world affairs and had to adapt quickly. We looked at each company’s performance over multiple periods of time, from two weeks ago to a year ago. I was very excited and happy for my team. We all put in a lot of work.”
Brooklyn Milan mentioned how the game was competitive. “You had to pick companies that kept making money because if you didn’t,” she said, “you would lose money. We looked for what products sold the most and which they sold the most. It surprised me when some of the stocks went down that I wasn’t expecting.” She advised that students in the future should participate because “it’s a good way to learn how to spend your money.”
Previously this year, Potter’s students had participated in Simcompanies, which is a pretend company to learn how to deal with supply and demand. “Once they did that,” Potter said, “they knew how to work the stock market. Some students had their own companies and knew how to manage the ins and outs of an infrastructure of a company as an entrepreneur. Once they went out, they had to start all the way over.”
“I learned a lot about the world and how stocks work in general,” Cole said. “I got to learn about foreign countries and even some tech that is developing all around the world. I gained a lot of teamwork and management skills, and how important it is to research thoroughly before making a decision.”