Year 10, Y Pant Comprehensive School and Year 12, Treorchy Comprehensive School took top honours at this year's Stock Market and Investment Challenges for schools and colleges held at the Cardiff School of Management on 23 April.
This Maths in Action project is a STEM initiative match funded by HSBC and First Campus and delivered in partnership with Cardiff Metropolitan University and 10 Lane Learning.
Stock Market Challenge enables students to apply their knowledge of mathematics and business, and helps them to develop their communication, problem-solving, decision making, teambuilding and negotiation skills.
The initiative offers a unique engagement opportunity between schools and companies like HSBC. It aims to help students leave school or college 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.
Andy Mielczarek, Head of Customer Service & Distribution 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 100 Year 10 and 80 Year 12 students from local schools and colleges, many of whom have used the Global Investor simulations in school in preparation for the events. The schools received the 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: "Stock Market Challenge allows major employers like HSBC to work with local schools and communities 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."
Sian Rees, Director of Enterprise at 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 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.
Brandon Webb, a member of Y Pant Comprehensive School's winning team at the Year 10 event said: "We really enjoyed taking part. It was an exciting day and we enjoyed getting into each of the roles and working as part of a team. It was an intense day but we had so much fun."
Elise Tanner, a member of Treorchy Comprehensive School's winning team at the Year 12 event 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.