Two teams from Buchanan High School claimed the first and second place awards in the spring semester California Stock Market Simulation conducted by the Center for Economic Education (CEE) at California State University, Fresno. A team from Clay Elementary School in Tulare County finished third.

The simulation, which is open to teachers and students grades 6 – 12, uses $100,000 in imaginary money for each student team to invest in the stock market or mutual funds via the internet.

Upon completion of monitoring the investments for one semester, the student teams are judged on the success of their investments based upon the total value of their portfolios.

More than 200 teams from Valley schools were entered in the fall and spring semester simulations said Dr. Don Leet, professor of economics at Fresno State and director of the CEE.

“This simulation provides students with a chance to exercise valuable life skills,” said Leet. “Not only are they learning how to make good economic decisions, but they get to have fun with the imaginary money.”

However, not all the money is imaginary, thanks to special cash awards of $150 for first place, $100 for second place and $50 for third place, all provided by the CEE.

First place team members for the spring semester simulation are Buchanan students Alisha Carlson, Nikkiey Puente, Mike Baptista, Mike Grazier and Amber Saldate. Second place team members from Buchanan are Nikki Riesgo, John Welter, Sergio Calvillo, Jennifer Martinez and Courtney Sloan. Max Newberry coached both teams. Coach Gaylen Langel’s third place team members from Clay Elementary are Phil Bartel, Rachel Ataide, Samuel Duffy and Alison Barnes.

The regional competition was conducted by the Fresno State’s CEE and is part of a statewide competition sponsored by California State University campuses in Sacramento, Bakersfield, Hayward, Pomona, Fullerton and Fresno. The Fresno Bee provided newspapers for the contest.

Fall semester simulation winners were Buchanan, Paulding Middle School in Arroyo Grande, and Foothill Middle School in Prather, respectively.