Part of Unit: The Role of Biotechnology
Lesson Plan Overview / Details
In this activity students will pick two Biotechnology companies to invest in and tract the companies' progress for the semester. After 15 weeks students will present their findings to the class by graphing the data and making a presentation.
- Present Project, Students pick companies
- 50 Minutes
- Students make rationale and data tables
- 50 Minutes
- Each week for 15 weeks students check stock price and recent news of company
- 10 Minutes
- At 7 weeks, students can change company
- 30 Minutes
- Students complete final data tables, graphs, and presentation
- 100 Minutes
California Career and Technical Education Standards
- HSMT.A.A1.1 Understand the role of the biotechnology industry and its impact on society.
- HSMT.FS.2.0 Communications
California Academic Content Standards (Reinforced)
- ELA.9-10.W.RT.1.3 Use clear research questions and suitable research methods (e.g., library, elect...2
- M.7.SDAP.1.1 Know various forms of display for data sets, including a stem and leaf plot or b...21
- M.8-12.A.17.0 Students determine the domain of independent variables and the range of dependen...1
- S.9-12.IE.1.a Select and use appropriate tools and technology (such as computer-linked probes,...
Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS)
Objectives and Goals
- Students will purchase and track two biotechnology company stocks for 15 weeks.
- Students will record and graph data of the company.
- Students will present their findings of the company success or failure to the class.
Activities in this Lesson
- Mad Money with Jim Cramer on CNBC - Hooks / Set
To start this project off I ask students; "What does owning a stock actually mean?" "How does a Biotechnology company get money to start or continue research and development?" These topics I introduced in the lesson before on researching Biotech companies. I then ask the students "How many of you have parents who are saving money for your college?" "Where is that money being saved, Banks, Stocks, Real Estate?" I want to personalize this idea and have the students think about where their own money is going. I then show the two clips below to get them excited about making money by investing wisely. On CNBC there is a reporter called Jim Cramer who has a show called Mad Money. He breaks down investing to a simple form. I have attached two segments that excite kids into thinking about why they should be investing.
- Yahoo Finance - Demo / Modeling
After I show students the clips, I then take them to yahoo finance and show them how to navigate the page. Over on the left side is how the DOW, Nasdaq and S&P 500 are doing. I explain that these are the three main stock indices that the United States uses to gauge how the economy is doing. I show that other countries have their own stock market indices as well.
I then show students how to look up a company's stock price by typing in the company's symbol or name. I have students give me some of the Biotech companies they have research in the previous activity as examples. I also remind students that when analyzing a company you can find information like company profile, how financial advisors think the company is doing, and news about the company. All of these topics are explain in Researching Biotechnology Companies lesson.
- Yahoo Finance [ Go to Site ]
Here is the worksheet that I hand out to the students. I take them through the worksheet and go over steps 1-3 in class. After 7 weeks I go over steps 4 and 5. Finally at week 14 I go over the final portion of graphing and making a presentation. I have students do the data table and graph in MS Excel and their presentation in MS Power Point. I suggest you find your strong point in technology and use either Google Documents, MS Office, or Apple Works. The worksheet can be easily manipulated to fit what you want.
- Stock Project MS Office [ Download ]
- Steps 1-3 on Worksheet (starting project) - Demo / Modeling
Step 1 - I tell the students they each now have $1000 (make believe money)
Step 2 - They need to spend between $900 to $1000 on two companies. It is best if you model how to do this in class, students have a difficult time deciding how much to spend on each company. Students also struggle to get to $1000 as close as possible. I make the students have their calculators out and I just pick two companies that were used in the previous example and make up number of shares. I show them how I may change the number of shares multiple times in order to maximize using all the money given to me.
I then explain to students what a rationale is. I tell students they must write a paragraph on why they are investing in that company. I tell the student to think of themselves as a financial advisor and must be detailed in why they are picking that company. I show how yahoo finance gives detailed info about the company when you look it up.
Step 3 - The students must make a data table for each company. I again open up MS Excel and model how to make this with the students. The worksheet has an example of the data table but I like to take the students through step by step on how to make it.
- Sample Stock Setup [ Download ]
- Steps 4 - 5 on Worksheet (week 7) - Group Work
At week 7 I give about 30 minutes in class for students to share with each other their companies progress and make changes if they want to. I explain how steps 4 and 5 let them change stocks if they want to. I show how they must all make the data table summary to see if they are making or losing money thus far.
- Steps 6-9 on Worksheet (final analysis) - Group Work
Steps 6-8 take students through step by step on how to make 2 graphs, one is total value and the other is price per share over the 14 weeks. The directions are for MS Excel. Again if you use a different spreadsheet program, I have done it in Google Documents but I like MS Excel better. Since this is the end of the semester my students have been graphing a lot. I find that I do not need to model this on the board. The detailed directions on the worksheet and their peers giving each other guidance is enough for them to create the graphs. I monitor the class room helping the students who need it and giving guidance where needed.
Step 9 is making the Power Point Presentation and then inserting the graphs they made into the presentation. I have attached a student example for you to get an idea.
- Stock Project Student Example [ Download ]
- Presentations - Closure
Having students present their Power Points the last week of the semester is a great way to end. I have attached the rubric I use to grade their projects in the assessment section. I also go and buy a $5 gift card at Jamba Juice and give the student who makes the most money in the class as an award.
- Assessment Types:
- Rubrics, Projects, Student Presentation
I have attached the rubric I use to grade student's Stock Project. Students are graded on their presentation ability and on the content of their Biotech company. I also keep track of how students do. I give a $5 jamba juice card to the student who makes the most money for each class. In 2008 the market took a crash two weeks after I started this assignment. I awarded the biggest loser and winner that year. Have fun!
- Stock Project Rubric [ Download ]