The spring session of the South Dakota Stock Market Game (SDSMG), sponsored in part by Black Hills State University, concluded its 10-week trading session recently. More than 480 students from 21 South Dakota schools formed 226 teams of stock market investors and received a hypothetical $100,000 to perform online investing in real-time stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

The largest competitive division was the high school division with 176 teams. Harrisburg High School had the highest ending portfolio in the state at $ 141,280, an impressive return of 41 percent, considering that the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index returned less than 1 percent during this time. Teacher Matt Genrich used the program in his economics class.

The winner of the college division was Black Hills State University and student Montana Penton, senior business administration major from Spearfish. His final portfolio value was $ 131,380, a return of 31 percent. Penton played the game as part of the personal finance course requirement.

The program’s carefully integrated curriculum lets students experience the financial markets in the classroom as they learn about business, math, economics, social studies and the importance of saving and investing for the long term, according to Professor Don Altmyer, BHSU Center for Economic Education Director.

Learning Point Associates, in conjunction with the Foundation for Investor Education, conducted a nationwide randomized controlled trial in 600 classrooms measuring the impact of playing the Stock Market Game on student achievement in mathematics and investor knowledge tests. The results of the study found that students who participated in the SMG program significantly outperformed students who did not play the game on national standardized math and financial literacy assessments.

The South Dakota Stock Market Game is sponsored by the BHSU Center for Economic Education and the South Dakota Council on Economic Education.

The Fall 2011 SDSMG session starts on Monday, Oct. 3 and registration begins on Aug. 1. To register, go to www.stockmarketgame.org or for more information contact Altmyer at Don.Altmyer@BHSU.edu.