Help a High School w/ a trading project

Discussion in 'Commodity Futures' started by caroy, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. caroy


    Dear Traders,

    As the principal of a high school and a former member of a floor trading group at the CBOT I've worked with our economics teachers to add a unit on the role of futures markets to our economics classes which are required for graduation.

    The point of the overall unit is to explain the nature of commodity markets and the way futures markets are used as a risk management tool for various producers and end users. We also examine the role of the speculator. We explore the pros and cons of the system, solve some hedging problems, and usually do a conference call or two with a few market participants.

    The project culminates with a mock trading experience in our make shift pit. We trade the mock value of a gasoline contract with students taking on various roles. Usually we have a great deal of fun and hopefully some valuable learning takes place along the way. We make every effort to do a balanced presentation for the students with the goal of being a basic understanding. We also encourage students to think critically as well.

    The reason for the post is I'd like your help. I know the demands of many of your trading styles will make your participation impossible. What we need every year are some noble souls to sign up to be our customers. Calling orders into our mock trading pit. Traders watch the floor action through a live webcast and call in our IM orders to our brokers and clerks on the exchange floor. (see the video below). I've found having real traders play this role makes everything flow a little smoother. Don't count on excellent fills (after all these are high school kids who've had at this point about a couple of hours of training) but they'll do their best. So if you'd like to help use the links below and we'll put you our list. We usually do a couple sections each semester.

    link to class video
    link to class web page for project
    link to sign up

    A couple years ago I asked for help on this same forum. A number of you have helped and we'd love to have you back. For various reasons a number of people felt obliged to tell me how dumb the project was and what an awful idea it was. A number of you argued back on our side (thanks again) Once again this is in the context of an overall economics class and is just one unit of many. We aren't filling kids minds with the idea of easy riches. Anything worth doing takes time commitment and a desire to continuously improve... i'm sure those of you in this industry long term are well aware of that.

    Thanks for your help. I know your time is valuable but if you could help us it would be much appreciated.
  2. caroy


    Oh yeah also if any of you still have floor connections and a way to get us some cheap or old trading jackets that would be appreciated. New Edge was kind enough to send us some a couple years ago but we always need more.
  3. caroy


    I thought multiple delivery points was the solution. Or maybe rolling all the wheat contracts into one.
  4. ?.....Salvation Army Thrift Store. :cool:
  5. elomich


    Although I don't have the time to help, this sounds like an awesome project. If I had done anything like this in school, it would be the one thing I remember.
  6. caroy


    One aspect that has been somewhat rewarding is to see seniors who went through in the fall try to negotiate with their other teachers to come back and help in the spring semester. I hope it is because they loved the learning not because trading stimulates the same part of the brain that crack does. LOL I guess I'll never know. Thanks for the comment.
  7. Dogfish


  8. caroy


    One of the days of the unit we use the corny CME lumber trading simulator. I like the idea though of asking some brokers to donate the simulators. Next year we will have a 1:1 laptop environment so it would be pretty simple to provide all the kids access. Do you have any connections at trading technologies that could open the door for us?

    Usually the day after the pit trading session we discuss the migration to electronic trading. After going through their usually numerous errors in execution mistakes the students seem to understand the change.

    I'm hoping to use some clips from the movie coming out "Floored" to help explain the migration as well.
    #10     Jul 20, 2010