Middle school students learn about finance and entrepreneurship at business camp
When rising Hopkinton High School senior Vihaan Agarwal and some friends noticed a lack of opportunities related to finance and entrepreneurship at the middle school level, they decided to do something about it.
They founded the Hopkinton Youth Business Academy, which has offered sessions of 25 to 30 students over the past two summers.
In addition to finance and entrepreneurship, topics such as marketing and leadership were included.
“Our goal was twofold: to stimulate interest in careers in these fields and to help students apply these concepts in everyday life,” said Agarwal.
Business camp sessions were held at the Hopkinton Public Library and lasted two hours each weekday, for a total of ten hours. All courses were free.
The first class included a presentation on stocks and the banking system along with a stock market simulation activity.
Subsequent courses covered leadership, marketing and communications, IRAs and personal finance, and a lesson on entrepreneurship, followed by students developing and presenting ideas.
Ash Sridhar, beginning his sophomore year at HHS, explained that the academy is not a school-related activity or part of a club experience. Instead, it grew out of a group of friends who wanted to pass their knowledge on these subjects to younger children.
In addition to teaching core business skills, the sessions included interactive activities to keep middle school students (ages 11-14/new freshmen) interested.
“We hope to improve their understanding of credit, borrowing, interest and taxes – things that aren’t usually taught but are important,” Sridhar said.
Sridhar said the leaders are focused on making the experience fun for children and allowing them to challenge themselves through activities.
“They were really committed and really keen to compete,” Sridhar noted during the session, which took place in early August.
Business camp participant Rishit Lalchandani particularly liked the creative activities and awards, which she found “really exciting for me and my friends”.
“I highly recommend this camp for beginners who want to learn and improve their financial skills in a fun and interactive way,” said Lalchandani.
Another participant, Prannav Raja, had a similar experience.
“I learned different ways to make money,” Raja said. “For example, by investing in stocks, buying bonds and putting money into IRA plans.”
Raja said the best part of the business camp is being able to learn important things in a fun way with friends.
“We played a lot of games that taught us how to invest in stocks, market products and more,” Raja added. “It helps you understand things like becoming an entrepreneur.”
To attract ‘campers’, Sridhar noted that the coordinators went door to door talking to parents about the importance of young people learning these issues. They also relied on social media to spread the word.
Sridhar added that the camp also helps prepare middle school kids for when they become high school students.
“It inspires interest in going to high school where there are many opportunities to pursue your interests,” he said.
Alongside Sridhar and Agarwal, Veer Bhatia and Dhruv Shah, both incoming sophomores, helped run the camp.
#Middle #school #students #learn #finance #entrepreneurship #business #camp Source