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Wyoming based Pine Bluffs High School Wins Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge


December 6, 2018

Courtesy Photo

Boys left to right Tyler Christofferson, Hunter Jeffres, Seth Tangeman, Tucker Norman, Donte Jacobsen and Scott Fornstrom

FORT COLLINS – A bell ringing, stock market graphs fluctuating on multiple screens, and volunteer stock brokers running around the floor. This was the scene of the Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge, a hands-on virtual simulation of the stock market experienced by more than 600 students at the Drake Centre in Fort Collins on November 16. With a mock portfolio, students put their financial skills and acumen to the test, with each minute in real life representing a full day of trading in the competition.

To make the investment decisions more challenging, each team of students had to respond to events over the day, such as natural disasters and various economic crises.

Students from Pine Bluffs High School in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming took home the first place trophy.

"My strategy was to invest in businesses that would most likely boom, like research companies and medical companies, because they always either boom or bust and I'd figure they'd boom," said student Seth Tangeman, a member of the winning team. "We looked at a 3-year history of restaurants before we came, and they all trended downward once they had bad publicity but they always came back up. So we waited for it to go down, bought in, it went back up, and that helped us a lot."

Tangeman along with his teammates, made sure roles were defined throughout the competition. While he and another teammate crunched numbers and analyzed graphs, others actively traded stocks, called over brokers, and monitored the performance of stocks.

"This is an incredibly valuable and unique learning experience for students to apply their financial learning in a fun, competitive environment," said Elizabeth Winn, JA-Rocky Mountain District Director for Northern Colorado and Wyoming. "They also get to practice teamwork and collaboration skills while under pressure."

Pine Bluffs and other schools throughout the region participated at no charge, thanks to individuals and sponsors who attended a corporate fund-raiser version of the same event.

Besides the trophy the team received, each member of the team was awarded a $500 scholarship to attend the Junior Achievement Business Week that will be in June 2019.  

Also, another team of girls, Sydnie Fornstrom, Maddie Fornstrom, Alexis Depaulette and Savannah Norman participated and while they didn't bring home a trophy each girl learned valuable lessons and had a good time. 


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