EVANSTON, Ill., April 30, 2019 – April is National Financial Literacy Month, and on Saturday, April 27, 300 students from 25 high schools across Illinois and Missouri celebrated by traveling to Navy Pier to compete in the 7th Annual Magnetar Team Challenge, a mock stock trading and financial education competition.
Hosted by the Magnetar Capital Foundation – the charitable arm of alternative investment firm, Magnetar Capital – the competition awarded $10,500 in prize money to top-performing teams, split among the five schools who built the most successful mock portfolios:
- Wendell Phillips Academy High School won 1st Place and received a $5,000 school grant.
- Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences won 2nd Place and received a $2,500 school grant.
- Cristo Rey Jesuit High School won 3rd Place and received a $1,500 school grant.
- Rauner College Prep won 4th Place and received a $1,000 school grant.
- Palatine High School won 5th Place and received a $500 school grant.
Students who participated in the lively competition all studied one semester of finEDge – a research-based financial education curriculum developed by the Magnetar Capital UChicago Financial Education Initiative. The live stock trading competition is a culminating activity for the course.
“Virtually every decision you make in life has a financial implication,” said Alec Litowitz, founder and CEO of Magnetar Capital. “We started the finEDge curriculum to empower students with the tools they need to make smart financial decisions and live lives of financial freedom. The Magnetar Team Challenge is an electrifying, high-energy day that gives students the opportunity to showcase what they learned in school while experiencing first-hand how financial markets work.”
During the competition, teams built $100,000 mock stock portfolios and managed them through two hour-long trading periods. They received profit and loss updates every few minutes. Each team was guided by a financial professional from a Chicago-area firm who volunteered as their coach.
Gwendolyn Sykes, adjunct professor at American University, CFO of the U.S. Secret Service, and former CFO of NASA and Yale University, keynoted the event, speaking about the transformative power of a financial education. “Education can help you realize your hopes and dreams,” she said. “I truly believe that a financial education is the foundation to becoming successful.”
"This is an unforgettable day that empowers students to connect what they’ve learned in the classroom to the real world,” said Adrienne Morales, teacher at Wendell Phillips Academy High School. “The grant our students won will help us enhance our curriculum and get even more students interested in financial education.”
Approximately 1,600 high school students have partaken in the Magnetar Team Challenge since it started seven years ago, and nearly 19,000 high school students have received a financial education through the Magnetar Academy and finEDge curriculums.
About The Magnetar Capital UChicago Financial Education Initiative: Established in 2016, the Initiative is a partnership between the Magnetar Capital Foundation – the charitable arm of alternative investment firm, Magnetar Capital – and UChicago STEM Education. Its mission is to develop the tools, resources and capacity to scale financial education across America, advocating for a single-semester of financial education in every high school nationwide.
A product of the partnership, finEDge is a research-based financial education curriculum that provides students with opportunities to develop positive financial behaviors and practice making financial decisions. finEDge builds on the momentum of Magnetar Academy, a successful high school financial education curriculum developed by the Magnetar Capital Foundation in 2012 and taught in 700 Chicago-area high school classrooms.
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