Team Challenge 2017: Social Media Recap

We’re still half a year away from football season, but Chicago’s Soldier Field was brimming with competition and excitement on Saturday, March 18th, as the fifth annual Magnetar Academy Team Challenge brought together approximately 375 local high school students for a stock trading competition.

The competition is the capstone event of the Magnetar Youth Investment Academy Program, which provides free financial literacy education to schools throughout Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.

There were 45 teams participating, representing 34 Chicago area high schools. Once students had settled into their trading stations, Magnetar Capital CEO and founder Alec Litowitz welcomed everyone to the event.

Derrick Young, a reporter for CBS Chicago, then led the day’s financial literacy quiz, testing what the students had learned throughout their studies before the competition.

Kurt Summers, treasurer of the city of Chicago, also gave words of advice to the students as they prepared to trade.

In the first round of trading, teams were joined not only by their teachers, but by volunteer coaches as well. These coaches came from firms throughout Chicago’s financial industry, lending their expertise on trading strategies and also telling students about their careers.

#SullivanTigers business students work on investment strategies with Stock Market Coach Mark OConnor! #MagChallenge #magnetaracademy

A post shared by Sullivan High School (@sullivantigers) on

When the first round of trading wrapped up, Grammy award-winning artist and activist Che “Rhymefest” Smith took to the main stage to deliver a keynote address. Smith had the crowd enraptured, speaking about a range of topics from overcoming obstacles on his path to success to the importance of giving back to Chicago.

After a quick lunch, the students were back at it for the second and final round of trading, this time without their teachers and coaches to guide them. The excitement continued to build as the clock ticked down, with each team trying to vault themselves up the standings as much as possible before the close of trading.

Before the final results were announced, students were treated to one more special guest, as Magnetar Academy alum Lilly Martinez — who participated in the inaugural Team Challenge in 2013 as a Golder College Prep student — returned to speak about how she has used the financial literacy principles gained through Magnetar Academy as a college student at the University of Wisconsin.

In the end, there could only be three spots on the podium, as Lincoln Park High School, Whitney Young High School and Richards Career Academy took home first, second and third, respectively. Jones College Prep also got on the board by claiming the highest score in the financial literacy quiz. But with the excitement of competing with so many other schools, and the hands-on knowledge gained about investing stocks, it’s hard not to feel like every school ended up a winner.