SVEE credited with national research win

William C. Wood
William C. Wood

Dr. William C. Wood of the SVEE-funded Center for Economic Education at JMU has been chosen to receive the top research award given by the National Association of Economic Educators. Wood will receive the Henry H. Villard Research Award, which the award charter says was “established to encourage and recognize outstanding contributions in economic education research.” NAEE will confer the award on Wood in Phoenix, AZ October 6 at the organization’s annual meeting, jointly held with the Council for Economic Education.

Wood credited SVEE’s partnership with making the award possible. “SVEE’s support of economic education has made it possible for me to work with great economic education field workers like Martha Hopkins, Joan Harper and Lynne Stover. It has made all the difference — having their reactions and their experience to draw from.”

Wood’s publications in economic education span a period of more than 30 years, beginning with “The Educational Potential of News Coverage of Economics,” published in the field’s leading journal, The Journal of Economic Education, in 1985. Wood has since published scholarly work with 22 different coauthors, four of whom were JMU undergraduates in honors or independent study programs. His work includes the U.S. economic history textbook Economic Episodes in American History (with Mark C. Schug) and an antitrust study published by The MIT Press (with Kenneth G. Elzinga).

GEM Fair continues with new sponsor

U typeHere’s a video that tells the story of the GEM Fair, which began under SVEE sponsorship. The Global Entrepreneurship Marketplace Fair brings together students from classroom mini-economics for a simulated international marketplace. Prizes are awarded in a variety of categories including best product and best marketing. New in 2016 is the addition of Union Bank & Trust as presentation sponsor. Thanks to all who make it work!

2015 award winners honored

From left, 2015 award winners were Laura Thomas, Shelley Bryant, Allen Ruliffson, Callie Randolph, Justin King, Russell Kohrs, Janeen Dofflemyer, Andrea Nolley and Beth Yelverton.

Russell Kohrs has won the grand prize in the local economic education competition sponsored by the Harrisonburg Rotary Club and the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce for a Broadway High School project.

The winning project was “Concentrating on Copper: An Exploration in Mineral Commodities.” This project combined earth science principles and economic concepts to show students the importance of finite resources.

Since completing the project at Broadway, Kohrs has joined the faculty of the Massanutten Regional Governor’s School for Environmental Science and Technology in Mt. Jackson.

The prize carries a $1,000 cash award.  All the local winners were recognized at a meeting of the Rotary Club on October 5.

The reserve grand prize in the competition was won by Allen J. Ruliffson and Kim Fawley of J. Frank Hillyard Middle School.

In the Ruliffson-Fawley project, “Barracuda Barrel,” students learned what the Industrial Revolution was really like by pitching 19th century products to a panel of “Shark Tank”-like judges.

First prize among elementary school projects was won by Laura Thomas of Waterman Elementary School for her “Waterman Elementary Bookstore,” in which fourth graders learned retail skills while helping their fellow students get access to books.

Second place for elementary projects went to Andrea Nolley of Smithland Elementary School for “Decide, Reflect, Revise: Journaling through Mini-Economy.” For Nolley’s project, diverse students in an 11-week after-school program sharpened their writing and entrepreneurship skills in an economy they created.

First place in the middle school division went to Kim Fawley and Allen J. Ruliffson for their project, “Revolution on Animal Farm: Using George Orwell’s Novel to Learn about Communism and the Russian Revolution.”

In the high school division, first place went to Shelley Bryant of Turner Ashby High School for “Child Labor and Migrant Labor Simulation Games.” Bryant’s project used original simulations of labor practices under difficult conditions to help students understand child and migrant labor in real life and in literature.

Second place in the high school division was won by Justin King and Janeen Dofflemeyer of East Rockingham High School for their “Hands-on Market Economy Stations.” This tenth-grade project brought students with diverse abilities together for interactive experiences in economics and personal finance at three learning stations.

Third place in the high school division went to Callie Randolph for work done at Spotswood and East Rockingham high schools. Randolph’s project, “The Candy Trade & the Law of Demand,” taught key concepts in economics with multiple examples using candy.

An additional high school project, “Health Is Wealth: Pedometers Make ¢ents” by Amy Wheeler of Harrisonburg High School, did not place in the competition but received a Judges’ Award of Merit for its use of pedometer clicks to generate economic activities.

Beth Yelverton, librarian at Ottobine Elementary School, was separately recognized as the Shenandoah Region winner in student reading competition that was part of Reading Makes Cent$, a sponsored educational outreach by the Virginia 529 college savings plan.

Economic education locally is supported by Shenandoah Valley Economic Education Inc., a nonprofit organization that combines business and school contributions to fund the field work of the James Madison University Center for Economic Education.

2014 winners honored

2014 winners
From left, 2014 award winners were Louise Pierson, Bethany Everidge, Janeen Dofflemyer, Dawn Flora, Ann Komara, Russell Kohrs, Kim Fawley and Allen Ruliffson.

The awards program coordinated by Shenandoah Valley Economic Education, Inc., continues to generate excellent entries. For 2014, Bethany Everidge of Harrisonburg High School won the top prize statewide in the annual economic education awards competition sponsored by the Virginia Council on Economic Education. Everidge’s project was “Decision Making of the Future – 3 Hot’s and a Cot.” In this lesson, a diverse class learned the importance of long-term considerations in making current economic decisions. (“3 Hot’s and a Cot” refers to the accommodations in jail.)

Everidge was recognized at the local annual presentation at the Harrisonburg Rotary Club, which together with the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce and SVEE, sponsors local competition.

In the local contest, Dawn Flora and Ann Komara of Ottobine Elementary School won the grand prize of $1000. Their winning project was “Painting Economic Principles Red, White and Blue.”

In the Ottobine project, students learned about active duty soldiers, veterans, and those who sustained injuries while serving. Flora and Komara’s students also formed a company manufacturing windsocks to raise money for a donation to The Wounded Warrior Project. The reserve grand prize went to Broadway High School’s Russell Kohrs for his natural resource economics project, “Riding Hubbert’s Curve: Finite Resources and their Implications for Society’s Future.”

Other local winners included:

  • Louise Pierson of John Wayland Elementary School, who won first place among elementary school entries with her project, “My Father’s Dragon: An Economic Tale.”
  • Kim Fawley and Allen J. Ruliffson of J. Frank Hillyard Middle School, who won first place in the middle school division for their project, “Like Economics for Chocolate.”
  • Janeen Dofflemyer of East Rockingham High School, who won first place in the high school division for “Gaming Your Way Through Economics.”
  • Elizabeth (Beth) Stombaugh-Hook of Harrisonburg High School, who won second place in the high school division for “Getting Creative with Financing the Government.”

Rotary golf tournament boosts SVEE

Jennifer Shirkey of Harrisonburg Rotary Club and Jerry Scripture of SVEE, Inc.

The Harrisonburg Rotary Club has made a significant donation to Shenandoah Valley Economic Education, Inc., from its 2013 charity golf tournament. SVEE was one of five local nonprofit organizations to receive allocations from the tournament proceeds. Jennifer Shirkey, outgoing Club president, made the $10,000 presentation on June 24. “Our children need to learn about market economics and its importance to prosperity just as they need to learn any other civics lesson,” said SVEE Board chair Jerry Scripture. “We, in the Valley, are blessed to have the support of educators and the business community to support that mission through Shenandoah Valley Economic Education, Inc. Rotary’s continued support of that mission is terrific.”