Since my first post I’ve been doing some additional research into my topic as well as looking at other students Genius Hour projects. The other students projects range all over the place in terms of subject matter. Some students want to help kids find their way through sports, while others want to help students eat healthier. These topics and many others are vastly different from my topic in terms of subject matter, however, they all tie together in that they are all focused on teaching young students valuable life-skills/lessons.They also are similar to my topic in that they use technology and hands on creative learning techniques to teach the students.
In addition to the other projects, several students had topics very similar to mine. Eshan’s project is very similar to mine in that he wants to teach younger students to be financially savvy. Also, Al-Ameen wants to teach kids about professionalism and the technology they can use to do that. This topic as well as Eshan’s are similar to my project of helping kids become smarter financially. All three of us have the goal of helping students gain financial/professional skills now that will help them down the road.
I have also conducted some research on the internet and on twitter to aid in my project. Several twitter pages that would be good for students to follow for my genius hour project are @WSJ, @MikeBloomberg and @Forbes. All of these post very important information on world events and financial topics. Paying attention to the things they post is a very important part of investing. In addition I found a great book that I’ve been reading on investing that I will expand upon in my next blog post. Lastly, I have also found several interactive websites that will enable students to manage a stock portfolio as well as play around with interest rates and saving for the future which I will also detail further in blog posts to come. Stay tuned to my blog for the next update on my genius hour project.
For my Genius Hour project I plan to teach high school students about the importance of saving their money and the benefits it can have. I know my younger siblings get money during the holidays or for a birthday or for small jobs. Once they get this money they immediately spend it on shoes, sports equipment, etc. My goal would be to work with students to illustrate the advantages of saving some of this money especially in the long term.
One interactive activity that we could conduct would be a mock portfolio assignment. Students would be allowed to allocate a set amount of money into a portfolio of their design. It could include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, cd’s etc. Then the students could participate throughout the semester and see how their portfolio performs. There are many online sights that allow you to create a mock portfolio and track your progress over a period of time. The mock portfolio assignment will give students hands on experience with finances and illustrate to them the amount of money they can make by investing.
Students could also work on a project that shows the power of compounding interest on their savings. While the mock portfolio project will be fun, students will only be able to participate for a semester or two max. Such a short time frame inhibits students from being able to grasp the large amount of money investing can make over time. In order to illustrate this, I can show the kids several time value of money examples. We could do one where a student saves $5 every month from now until they graduate and invests it in the market. Using a conservative 5-6% rate of return and keeping that money invested until they retire it can turn into several thousand dollars.
Hopefully through fun, engaging projects like these students can see the power and benefits of saving their money. Buying into these principles at an early age will help ensure more of these students are fiscally responsible in the future. This is extremely important and recent statistics have shown that only 5% of millennials are on track to have a sufficient amount of money saved by the time they retire. Teaching students smart financial principles will go a long way to helping them in the future and helping them gain long term financial security.
Stay tuned here to follow the progress of my genius hour project focused on helping students create good financial habits