Sixth Grader Finishes First in State-wide Stock Market Game

This sixth grade winner sits under her "Stock Market Game 2014-2015" banner on June 15 at Bird Middle School (Photo/Melanie Weber).
This sixth grade winner sits under her “Stock Market Game 2014-2015” banner on Tuesday, June 16 at Bird Middle School (Photo/Melanie Weber).


Almost every student today has an iPhone, but almost no one has bothered to even look at some of the features that the phone has to offer— including stocks; however, the information provided in the stocks application is a great tool for both kids and adults to be educated in the field of finance and improve their understanding of how investments work.

  To bring this field to the attention of middle schoolers, Mr. David Cuzzi, a sixth grade Social Studies teacher at Bird Middle School, has dedicated his time during the extensions block to supervise students as they embark on an online game that teaches them a fundamental understanding of investments and how to invest money so it will increase in value.  The Securities Industries and UK cfd brokers Stock Market Game (SMG) program is available to students across the United States and has more than 600,000 students participate every year. The game has reached 15 million students since it began in 1977.

  Mr. Cuzzi is proud to share that Olivia Chiavegato, a sixth grader at Bird Middle School, achieved the number one profile out of 593 portfolios (individual student accounts) in the Massachusetts middle school region. Additionally, Chiavegato earned the sixth highest profile out of 1,634 in the state who played the game. This included other middle schoolers, as well as high schoolers, college students, and even adults. As a reward for her accomplishment, Chiavegato was recognized by the Boston Globe at the most recent school committee meeting on May 28th, 2015.

  Mr. Cuzzi said, “She made a 36.51 percent ($26,512.44) return on her original investment of ten thousand dollars.” Over the course of four months, Chiavegato’s stocks soared and her original investment increased to an outstanding $36,512.44.

  To attain her exceptional portfolio, Chiavegato decided to invest in five stocks, including Netflix, Walt Disney Company, Apple, McDonald’s, and Macy’s.

  “I looked at the trends to see what stocks would do better during a certain time of year and then invested in them,” said Chiavegato. She excelled by focusing on well-known stocks as well as trends in stocks during particular times of the year. In fact, one of her stocks did so well that it had a 70 percent increase from when she originally bought it.

  Not only does the game teach the students about economics, but it also provides them with real world skills in math, English language arts, Social Studies, and other subjects. Although most students are unaware of how to navigate the stock market, the SMG provides a “Teacher Background” for each lesson plan to help provide supplementary information along with links to help all students from grades 4 to 12 independently play and excel in the game. Students play on their own, but they are still supervised and taught the ropes with the help of a teacher.

However, Chiavegato’s success would not have been possible without Mr. Cuzzi’s extension.

  “The program introduces kids to the stock market and gives them a taste of real-life stock and what it is like to be a real investor,” said Chiavegato.

The game has also proved to help students academically, as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) funded a study for the SMG by American Institutes for Research.  (AIR) said “the Stock Market Game engages students and improves academic performance, financial knowledge, and saving and investing habits.” In addition to benefiting the students, AIR said, “the Stock Market Game program had a positive influence on the financial decisions of the teachers who used the program with their students.”