Photos Courtesy of George Washington University Online High School
In most schools in the U.S., courses like geometry and biology are required during high school years. However, according to CNBC, only 21 states mandate some form of financial literacy course in the public education system. As a high school sophomore, I am confounded by this fact since financial literacy is one of the most critical skills to have because of the importance finance plays in everyone’s daily life. This is one of the main reasons why my brother and I co-founded a social venture called SKAITUBE LLC (www.SKAITUBE.com). SKAITUBE is the first Si-Fi (Simulated Finance) gaming platform that is democratizing financial education for Gen Z (Zoomers) globally. SKAITUBE’s unique methods allow free, easy access and encourage engagement, offering one of the best solutions to helping achieve increased financial literacy awareness among students.
Let’s face it, in our world and daily life, money is important. Therefore, financial education is important. Fin-ed can help Zoomers learn about the value of money because, honestly, we need it. Zoomers under-performed every other past generation in financial literacy, according to the TIAA Institute. A recent Experian survey showed only 19% of Gen Z fully understood financial concepts like credit, but 76% showed interest and wanted fin-ed offered in their high schools. With this in mind, it is evident that Gen Z’s financial education needs prioritization.
Even though the education system is not offering what Zoomers want, it seems that Zoomers are taking matters into their own hands and excelling at one part of finance: the stock market! Currently, 36% of Gen Z are already actively investing in the stock market with customers in this group making up 32% of Robinhood, 17% of Coinbase, and 10% of Fidelity, according to SurveyMonkey. These are impressive and eye-opening statistics highlighting the immense interest in investing among 13- to 25-year-olds. This further proves the necessity for fin-ed and Si-Fi; not to mention, Zoomers will represent 27% of the global workforce by 2025, according to Forbes. As we see a huge wave of interest and potential in investing, it is apparent that the best way to engage Zoomers with financial education is through the stock and cryptocurrency markets. That’s where simulated investing games come in as an effective solution!
One of the problems we face when trying to learn about the financial world is that listening to traditional lectures (whether in-person or online) is boring. Yes, this is boring for us Zoomers with short attention spans! We also tried paper trading stock games (there are many apps for this) and thought this would help us learn and fuel excitement. But playing a game with little or no interaction with peers feels dry and uneventful! Our solution? We created SKAITUBE, a Discord platform that combines social chat, simulated stock and crypto trading games, 24/7 streaming financial news, stock and crypto research tools, and professional financial education videos – all in one. Zoomers like us need to be engaged in order to learn, so we designed SKAITUBE to be highly interactive and social through gaming and chat.
Recently, we partnered with publicly-listed company Stride, Inc. (ticker: LRN) to host a stock-trading game for all of their private school students. We had over 70 registered participants from around the world with 24,000+ chats and trades exchanged over the SKAITUBE server in the five-day game period. This event was a hugely-successful kickoff to our new venture and highlighted our ability to create engagement, foster community, and introduce finance and investing to students.
If there’s going to be effective fin-ed learning among the Zoomer generation, gaming needs to be utilized as an educational learning tool. That’s how my brother and I are trying to create an impact and a difference with our social venture. SKAITUBE’s mission is to build a Gen Z community that fosters an entertaining and interactive ambiance – something that traditional financial education curricula and other stock market simulation games lack. SKAITUBE is ultimately the byproduct of community and fun learning – a new model for Gen Z financial education. Come check us out at www.SKAITUBE.com!
Julian-Alexandre Wang (15) and his brother, Brennan-Pierson (17), are local Lake Nona residents and co-founders of financial literacy and social gaming platform www.SKAITUBE.com. SKAITUBE is free to join and hosts regular private and public simulated stock trading games emphasizing financial literacy and investing.