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Elementary and middle schoolers visit T. Rowe Price Finance Lab

Finance labStudents from Thomas Johnson Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore were recently on campus to visit the College of Business and Economics’ T. Rowe Price Finance Lab and participate in a stock market game.

Established in 2012, the lab replicates the functionality of a Wall Street trading firm and allows students to value and price complex securities and investments in real time.

Sharon Smith, a library media specialist with Thomas Johnson, first came to the finance lab to learn how to teach a stock market game to her fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth graders who she says are eager to learn everything they can about investing.

“Two days a week they meet to find out how to use stocks, how to sell stocks, how to buy stocks, how to save money, how to make money, what money means,” Smith explained. “So I requested if it was possible to bring my students here.” 

The lab features a Bloomberg box, which streams up-to-the-second analytics through a customized interface; a Rotman Interactive Trader, which provides a way for students to transact financial securities with each other in real time; and Stock Trak, which allows students to manage a virtual stock portfolio or multiple portfolios.

Finance lab“We had 18 students from Thomas Johnson who came and used the stock screener function to investigate industries that they normally wouldn’t think about and then the companies within those industries, to decide if there were some that perhaps they’d want to put in their portfolio,” says Debbie Batchelor, associate director of the Maryland Council on Economic Education.

“What really impressed me is throughout the entire hour there was not one student who wasn’t on task at all times. That was a credit to the teacher and a credit to the school.”

The College of Business and Economics initiated the creation of the lab thanks to a $250,000 grant from the T. Rowe Price Foundation.

“The T. Rowe Price Foundation is thrilled to be able to provide funds to Towson to create the finance lab,” said JeanneMarie Patella, of T. Rowe Price. “We also appreciate the opportunity to have kids come into the lab to learn about the stock market game.”

Ron Brown, Towson’s director of corporate relations, agrees.

“The opportunity for community outreach with the T. Rowe Price Lab is just terrific, because we have the T. Rowe Price Foundation, we have the Maryland Council on Economic Education’s support, and we have the T. Rowe Price community outreach folks involved to help bring lots of students from middle school and high school to the lab to learn about economics, investing and how the stock market works.”

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