Loughman Oaks Elementary is technically the home of the Owls, but students in Melissa Gamache’s class are more interested in bull and bear markets. Gamache’s fourth- and fifth-grade students regularly participate in the Stock Market Game, an educational program from the SIFMA Foundation that is utilized by hundreds of Florida teachers. Students bolster their math, economics and personal finance knowledge by competing in a capital markets simulation with an imaginary $100,000 to invest. “This is a great way to teach financial literacy and math in a real-world setting, and with the volatility of the stock market, my students get plenty of opportunities to analyze stock trends, research companies, and use their problem-solving skills as they work to build diverse portfolios,” says Gamache, who teaches gifted students at Loughman Oaks. Gamache says her mini stock market mavens also learn to account for unforeseen events, such as company data leaks, supply chain issues, and CEO misbehavior. “They learned to be flexible, invest in several different types of companies, and that the timing of buying and selling was key to building a successful portfolio,” she said. The SIFMA Foundation — a trade association for financial professionals — recently announced the winners of the Fall 2021 Stock Market Game competitions in the North Florida region. Only two schools were recognized at each level (elementary, middle and high school), based on the highest portfolio value generated by the student teams. Loughman Oaks placed second in the elementary category, thanks to the financial savvy of students Angel Hernandez and Zariah Dudley. Considering their success, the duo might prefer that we call them by their Stock Market Game team moniker: The Golddiggers.