Ira Jones Seventh-Graders Sweep Finance Competition
Three teams of seventh-grade algebra students at Ira Jones Middle School swept a Chicago-area online finance simulation competition, and will receive awards at an all-school assembly.
The competition, sponsored by PNC Wealth Management, was developed by the SIFMA Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to financial literacy.
Students must assign a modern day price to the cost of buying all of the items named in the holiday classic song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
PNC and SIFMA Foundation representatives will present awards to the winning teams during an assembly at 1 p.m. Feb. 10 at the school, 15320 Wallin Drive, Plainfield. Each team consists of three to five students.
Students on the first place team will each receive a $250 savings bond and a certificate, second place team members will each receive a $150 savings bond and a certificate, and students on the third place team each will receive a $100 savings bond and a certificate.
In addition, the school will be awarded first, second and third place trophies, and students in the two algebra classes will be treated to pizza parties.
In early November, 13 Ira Jones student teams in Jeff St. Yves’ two algebra classes took part in the pilot PNC Christmas Price Index® – SIFMA Foundation Stock Market GameTM Challenge.
The SIFMA Foundation joined with PNC to bring financial lessons to life through the use of the Christmas Price Index to help students better understand economic factors that affect their everyday lives.
St. Yves’ students have taken part in the SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game program the last two years. NIU’s ECON Illinois, an organization located in NIU’s Division of Outreach coordinated the PNC Christmas Price Index - SIFMA Foundation Stock Market Game Challenge.
For the past 27 years, PNC Wealth Management Experts have calculated the cost of buying all of the items in the famous song and then conducted a year-to-year comparison to track price changes.
“PNC uses their Christmas Price Index as a fun way to discuss the Consumer Price Index (CPI) with their clients, teachers and students, and it has been a fairly accurate representation of general inflation,” St. Yves said.
The student teams researched each of the items in the song and determined the total price for 2010. They then calculated the percent change from last year’s price and wrote an essay describing their research and supporting their findings.
Fifty-four teams from Chicago area schools submitted entries, with the Ira Jones’ teams sweeping the competition.
According to the annual survey, the CPI for 2010 is $23,439, a $1,974 increase from 2009. Four of the gifts remained at the same price levels as 2009, including the Partridge in a Pear Tree, the Four Calling Birds, the Six Geese-a-Laying and the Eight Maids-a-Milking.
However, the cost of Nine Ladies Dancing rose the most – up 15 percent from 2009.
All three Ira Jones teams were within $1,250 of the PNC Christmas Price Index calculation.
“The winning teams had the best combination of a cost analysis similar to PNC’s research and strong rationale for why prices changed compared to last year’s costs,” St. Yves said.