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Students show Maths in Action in financial challenge



Chris Webb, co-ordinator from First Campus, Kieran Taylor and Lewis Ball from Coleg Gwent Cross Keys, and Martin Bornes, director from Global Investment Simulations

Connor Bollen, Fiona Jacker, Olivia Shott, Charlotte Chipper and Cameron Trinn from St Albans RC High School, with Rose Nooma from HSBC and Phil Lambert from First Campus

St. Alban’s RC High School and Coleg Gwent took top honours at this year’s Maths in Action Day, a First Campus event hosted by Cardiff School of Management on 22 March.

This Maths in Action project is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) initiative funded by HSBC, First Campus and delivered in partnership with Cardiff Metropolitan University and Global Investor Simulations. 

Both challenges, Stock Market Challenge for Year 9 and Investment Challenge for Year 12 enable students to apply their knowledge of mathematics and business, helping them to develop their communication, problem-solving, decision making, teambuilding and negotiation skills. 

The initiative offers a unique engagement opportunity between schools, colleges and companies like HSBC.  It aims to help students leave school or college more prepared for the world of work with the capabilities and confidence to handle future higher education and career decisions.  The initiative also supports the local financial services sector in its need to create a world-class competitive workforce.  

Rose Noonan Regional Service Support Manager at HSBC, said “Stock Market Challenge is a fantastic way for young people from schools across the region to build their understanding of the business world whilst developing their skills and having fun. The initiative links well with our community goals and gives pupils the opportunity to apply their learning at school to a highly realistic financial setting, whilst bringing their own fresh perspective.”

The events involved 125 Year 9 and 100 Year 12 students from 27 local schools and colleges, many of whom have used the Global Investor simulations in school in preparation for the events. The schools and colleges received the simulation software resource free of charge as part of the support from HSBC and First Campus with the aim of leaving a project legacy. 

Working in teams, their task was to manage a fund of shares and foreign currency by interpreting information and investing in the markets.  The team with the highest total fund at the closing bell of each competition were the winners.

Kathryn Maddy, First Campus Manager, said: “Our Maths in Action Day allows major employers like HSBC to work with local schools and colleges and gives students an insight into the wide range of further and higher education opportunities available as they develop ideas about future careers. Our young people have much to offer, so it is essential that we support the further development of their skills and knowledge.” 

Prof. David Brooksbank, Dean of Cardiff School of Management, said: “At Cardiff Metropolitan University we think it is essential that we focus on developing the qualifications and skills of our young people, to ensure the appropriate skills base is in place to take advantage of the job opportunities now and in the future. Initiatives such as the Stock Market Challenge and Investment Challenge provide us with an opportunity to introduce the university to young people whilst also helping our next generation of business leaders to consider a high value qualification in finance, banking or accounting.”

The events were supported by HSBC’s staff who participated as ‘traders’ to recreate a ‘real time’ trading floor.  The company also provided the prizes and, with CMU students and staff, were on hand to provide teachers and students with guidance and ​information about opportunities in the sector and relevant courses at the university.

Lewis Ball, a member of Coleg Gwent’s Year 12 winning team said: “Today was a great way for us to experience university life whilst at the same time competing against other schools in the Finance Lab trading simulation. It was very enjoyable and rewarding.”