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Playing the stock market

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The Stock Market Game (http://stockmarketgame.org) offers participants real-time lessons on investing in the stock market. Used by students in public and private schools, as well as by home-schooled children and other groups, it challenges participants to invest $100,000 in virtual money in "anything with a ticker symbol," said Allen Cox, the program's coordinator for the sponsoring Maryland Council on Economic Education. He said the program is being used by a Towson Library group.

Teachers can register their class for the year-long game, or for one of the 10-week sessions.

An upcoming session in May is available for teachers and parents to try for free. Usually it's $15 a team, Cox said.

Cox said teachers have a two-hour training workshop to help them get started. And once they get started, it gets competitive with prizes offered during school-year sessions. The May session, however, doesn't have a competitive component.

"It gets kids thinking this is kind of fun," Cox said.

Meanwhile, they're learning math, language arts and social studies.

The Room 18 Community also uses My Kids' Bank (http://s3.mykidsbank.org) as their classroom "bank." This service is free.

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