Stock Market Game gives students lesson in dealing with pandemic

Stock Market Game gives students lesson in dealing with pandemic

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Biloxi High School economics teacher Daniel Wasilenko has led teams to two state championships in The Stock Market Game over the 10 years he’s been involved, but everything about this year is different, including a basic winning strategy.

“We focus more on coronavirus-related stocks versus what we normally would focus on,” Wasilenko said.

This year has obviously been a challenge to remotely coach his 20 teams involved from his classroom, but it seems to be working; one of his teams has a solid first-place lead in the region.

This stock market game is not only giving students something to do at this time, but it’s also teaching them a huge lesson and taking advantage of an opportunity that may not ever happen again.

“When we were watching the circuit breakers on the market when it dropped a certain percent and they shut the trading down for x number of minutes, or whatever, we watched it live,” Wasilenko said. “And I said, ‘Guys, we don’t get to see this very often.’ And it was just pretty historic.”

Senior Madison Walker is on the top high school team headed into the final week of competition, which ends April 10.

“This has definitely been a fun group project because we’re always texting each other, seeing, looking out our portfolio seeing what we can sell, what we can buy,” she said. “I think we’re doing good because we bought them early.”

The lesson learned?

“I’ve learned how through a global pandemic how to actually make money through the stock market if you just look at trends and not base it off emotions but more of what you’re seeing in other countries,” Madison said.

Among the big investments that caught the attention of students before COVID-19 reached our shores were Zoom, Netflix and a vaccination company.

But would she make a personal investment?

“I’m not sure I’d take it that far,” she added with a laugh. “But, we’re doing pretty good with our fake money.”

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