The fall session of the South Dakota Stock Market Game (SDSMG) concluded its 10-week trading session Dec. 9. More than 525 students from 23 South Dakota schools formed 244 teams of stock market investors and participated in the game.

Each team received a hypothetical $100,000 to perform online investing in real-time stocks, bonds and mutual funds. The program’s carefully integrated curriculum lets students experience the financial markets in the classroom as they learn about business, math, economics, personal finance, and the importance of saving and investing for the long term. Student teams compete for prizes in three competitive divisions.

The largest division was the High School Division with 207 teams. The winner, Philip High School, had the highest ending portfolio in the state at $143,631, an impressive return of 44 percent, considering that the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index returned about 11 percent during this time. Teacher Bridgette Brucklacher used the program in her personal finance classes.

The winner of the Middle School Division was Patrick Henry Middle School. Teacher Shirley Mauss used the program in her gifted education classes.

The winner of the College Division was Black Hills State University student Tiffany Thovson, biology major from Rapid City. She participated in the game as part of her survey of business course requirement.

The Stock Market Game is an online simulation of the global capital markets that engages students in the world of economics and personal finance and prepares them for financially independent futures. Students who play the SMG scored significantly higher on national mathematics and financial literacy tests than their peers who did not participate. The program includes InvestWrite, a national essay competition that is the culminating SMG activity. Students are challenged to think critically about real-world financial issues by preparing an essay about long-term saving and investing. Winners receive a paid trip to New York City and a visit to the New York Stock Exchange.

The South Dakota Stock Market Game is sponsored by the Black Hills State University Center for Economic Education, the Securities Industry Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), and the South Dakota Council on Economic Education.

The Spring 2012 SDSMG session starts Monday, Feb. 13. Registration begins Jan. 1. To register, visit www.stockmarketgame.org. For more information contact Don Altmyer, director of the BHSU Center for Economic Education, at Don.Altmyer@BHSU.edu.