AP Econ Students Play the Stock Market


Each day, senior Sarah Heller checks in to see how her shares of Amazon and Lowes are doing.

“I started off not so good, then went up,” she said. “Now I’m back to where I was. Things are pretty stagnant right now.”

Although it sounds like something real, Heller is only playing a game — Investopedia, a yearlong project in AP Economics.

The project allows student to invest, risk free, and see how their portfolios change due to change current events in the U.S. and the world, AP Economics Teacher Mrs. Stacey Miller said.

Each student starts out with “$100,000”. Students may buy and sell as often or as little as they desire, but they must pay a commission each time.

“I am trying to give them a taste of real-world economics and investing through this activity, because they will eventually be actually dealing with the stock market one day,” Mrs. Miller said.

The students are ranked by how well their stocks performed, but their ranking has no impact on their final grade. Everyone writes a summary paper at the end of the school year to discuss what happened to their portfolio throughout the year.

Senior Jade Wilcox said it is one of her favorite parts of the economics class.

“It’s fun to see how you improve or go down,” she said. “I’m not the best at it, but I enjoy it.”

She, like Heller, has invested in Amazon. She also has bought stock in a pharmaceutical company, Hershey, Wal-Mart, Roku and Valero.

Senior Heller also said Investopedia is a fun part of class.

“I like it because it’s not very super formal,” she said. “It’s something more relaxed.”

Along with Amazon and Lowes, she has invested in Burlington and some pharmaceutical companies.

Has Investopedia made her want to become an investor in real life?

“I like it when I’m doing well,” she said, “but when not doing so well, I think should not be doing this.”