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Need financial advice? Ask Indian Hill Elementary School students

Winning IHES Team

During the fall of the 2020-2021 school year, it was the Indian Hill Elementary School (IHES) Brave Virtual Academy students who made incredible headlines: Four Indian Hill Elementary School teams earn top 10 in state for stock market game!

This spring – for the first time in the school’s history – every fifth-grade student had the opportunity to participate in the Stock Market Game sponsored by the non-profit Alpaugh Family Economics Center, University of Cincinnati. The competition ended Friday, April 9, and out of 156 teams in the city, Indian Hill Elementary School had nine teams finish in the top 20!  The top team for IHES earned a ranking that placed them sixth out of 412 student teams in the entire state (grades 4-12) and the No. 3 elementary team in the city.  

“We want to congratulate all of our students who participated; to offer this opportunity to our entire fifth-grade class was incredible and was made possible through our partnership with our supportive Indian Hill PTO,” said Indian Hill Elementary School Principal Whitney Buell. “It is important that students begin to learn about financial literacy at a young age because this is a lifelong skill that will build a foundation for healthy financial decision making. Through simulations, students can begin to understand spending and saving and how this affects a budget. They can also deepen their knowledge of needs versus wants to determine how they should spend their money.”

Educators visited each classroom once a week to introduce the students to the Stock Market and discuss their role as an investor and researcher. 

“Financial literacy provides children with the knowledge and skills they will need to manage their finances effectively as adults,” said Indian Hill Elementary School Instructional Coach Danielle Lintz. “It prepares our youth to make informed and effective decisions in regards to money management, as well as their saving and investing habits. Providing these fun, engaging, real-life experiences increases their financial literacy to positively impact their financial future.”

During the spring Stock Market Game, the following Indian Hill Elementary School students ranked in the top 20:

3rd:  Heidi Hansen, Marcus Mazzone, Cole Compton, Martha Fox
4th:  Elsa Neidich, Katherine O'Driscoll, Kathryn Setzekorn  
5th:  Vincent Festa, Quinn Strong, Sofia Heinichen  
6th:  Sloane Rost, Josephine Tindale, Jaden Pheng  
9th:  Leo Bey, Everett Meutsch
11th:  Haddyn Backlund, Quinnlyn Alderman, Reed De Blank
12th:  Hayden Cushman, Elijah Lowe, Braydon Wynne
16th:  Ryan O'Driscoll, Harry Smyth, Matthew Plummer
18th:  Evan Stephenson, Merle Ebner, Topher Wachtel

The annual Stock Market Game isn’t where financial literacy education ends for Indian Hill Elementary School students. The building has implemented a comprehensive plan by grade-level to ensure Braves begin learning financial skills at a young age.

Financial Literacy Grade 3 
Third-grade students become entrepreneurs in the food and beverage sector and create their own food truck. They market and design a business plan and determine its viability by testing it in a market of their peers.  

Financial Literacy Grade 4 
Students in fourth grade focus on the ways in which entrepreneurs organize productive resources and take risks to make a profit. This school year, students read the book “The Lemonade War” and participated in an inquiry-based project to deepen their understanding of economics. They realized that entrepreneurs can be CEO’s of large companies, or young children just like them.

Financial Literacy Grade 5 
This year, even participation within the Alpaugh Family Economics Center Stock Market Game expanded. For the first time at Indian Hill Elementary School, every fifth-grade student had the opportunity to participate. Students become active players in the economy as they follow the NYSE and NASDAQ to invest $100,000 with the goal of increasing the value of their portfolio.

“Students learn how aspects of the economy are interwoven and how managing their money through research and investments can positively impact their finances,” said Indian Hill Elementary School Gifted Intervention Specialist Betsy Henning. “The real-world math applications, along with the financial literacy skills of saving and investing, are lessons that will impact them for a lifetime.”

Photo caption: Indian Hill Elementary School students (L to R) Marcus Mazzone, Cole Compton, Martha Fox, and Heidi Hansen ranked sixth out of 412 student teams in the entire state (grades 4-12) and the No. 3 elementary team in the city during the Stock Market Game.