Mike Ellerbrock, Ph.D., director, and Cheryl Ayers, Ph.D., co-director, of The Center for Economic Education at Virginia Tech are creating an impact. The Center for Economic Education’s mission is to train regional K-12 educators to teach economics and personal finance to their students. The training resources include workshops, a lending library, classroom visits, and curriculum development assistance.

But the impact doesn’t stop there.

Ayers, who was hired in 2017 to grow The Center for Economic Education at Virginia Tech program, is doing just that.

Recently, teams of elementary, middle, and high school students from around the U.S. bought and sold real-time stocks and bonds totaling $100,000 per team, through a program called The Stock Market Game.

The effort is part of a simulation sponsored by SIFMA, the Virginia Council on Economic Education, the Centers for Economic Education at Virginia Tech, and the University of Virginia’s College at Wise.

In addition to providing investment experience, students who play the game throughout the term gain lasting analytical, strategic decision-making, and interpersonal skills

The games for 2022 were celebrated in an awards program on June 9, 2022, where teachers and their students were recognized for their dedication to playing.

This year Madeline Saia was awarded 1st place in Virginia and 4th place in the nation along with her teacher, Brenda Mash ’90, and received a prize of $100. Saia is a 4th-grade student at Falling Branch Elementary School in Montgomery County.

“I am proud to be part of The Center for Economic Education and these types of programs, like InvestWrite, that enhance the learning experience for our southwest Virginia future leaders,” said Ayers. 

To learn more about the center, visit https://aaec.vt.edu/extension/cee.html

Written by Melissa Vidmar