By Ben Rodgers
HOWARD – Christmas came early for six Bay View Middle School students on Friday, May 11.
Two student teams were recognized for their skills in pricing every item from the Christmas carol “12 Days of Christmas.”
“We think it’s awesome that you guys at Bay View are bringing home these awesome trophies for the Howard-Suamico School District,” said Chris Marschka, commercial banking market manager for PNC, a sponsor of the event.
The boys’ seventh-grade team of Braeden Neeley, Eli Grenfell and Braden Wazny took second place in the Wisconsin competition.
The girls’ eighth-grade team of Myranda Taylor, Emma Deeslie and Avery Dudra took second place at the national competition.
“This challenge is a really exciting and entertaining way to start to introduce basic economics in the classroom,” Marschka said.
This is the first year the students have competed in the competition, but it has been part of the curriculum for the past 15 years, said Sean Kelly, financial literacy teacher at Bay View.
Though six were honored with awards, Kelly said every student who competed deserves credit.
“I am so proud of all 55 students that participated,” he said.
The students worked on determining the cost from each line in the song, which includes “six-geese-a-laying.”
To determine the cost of the six geese, students need to look at food prices, the goose market, and any outside factors like avian flu.
Kelly said he is always looking for more opportunities to challenge his students, and with this in the curriculum already, it was a great opportunity.
“The opportunity was there. We always want to challenge the students to be creative and try something different,” he said.
As for the students, with so many different factors affecting the price index, they learned the importance of research and keeping track of results.
“I really learned to think out my procedures before I put anything down,” said Dudra. “I know for us, we thought out every single factor before we put anything down.”
For their achievements, the boys were each presented with a $100 gift card, while the girls each received a $150 gift card.
There was also a pizza party attended by parents, students and educators.
Francis Vogel, executive director of Economics Wisconsin, was also on hand.
His group provides economics training and financial literacy programs for students across the state.
Similar to The Stock Market Game middle school students compete in, he said the PNC Christmas Price Index offers a different avenue for students to learn.
“We find it to be a very fun, festive way to learn more while you are doing it,” Vogel said.