On Tuesday, April 24, 2012, students from the Academies of Nashville gathered at Caterpillar Financial‘s headquarters to participate in the Junior Achievement Titan Business Challenge. More than 60 students in 21 teams from eight area high schools put their business savvy and skills to the test in a fast-paced, virtual competition. Students from Antioch, Cane Ridge, Glencliff, Hillwood, McGavock, and Maplewood participated. Students from the Business Management pathway at Cane Ridge won first place in the event. Their teacher, Mrs. Michelle W. Robinson praised the achievement of her students and the real-world learning her students are getting through community partnerships: “The JA Titan Program is a prime example of hands on learning. We push our Accounting II students hard, and they never disappoint us. Our curriculum develops their analytical skills and allows them to simulate real world encounters in the classroom setting.”
The winning team from Cane Ridge was mentored by Ritzon Fernandez of Caterpillar Financial Service. Fernandez also taught the students the program in the classroom and coached them through the day of the competition. Fernandez praised the students’ success in navigating such complex business tasks: “You don’t realize how much the students have learned in such a short time until you watch them go in with a business strategy, make these complex decisions, and then continuously adjust their strategy according to their competition.”
Junior Achievement is a non-profit organization that teaches students in kindergarten through high school how to manage their money, succeed in the workplace, and thrive as adults in the twenty-first century. JA makes learning fun by using volunteers from local businesses and from the community to lead hands-on programs and experience-based activities for students during the school day. Andy Schenck, the Director of Programs, says, “Junior Achievement is excited to partner with the Academies of Nashville to help provide real-world learning opportunities to students.”
Junior Achievement Titan is an online, interactive business simulation that challenges young people to learn what it takes to run a successful business in a competitive market. Students learn to analyze the relationship between price and production, make decisions about pricing their products, and create a research and development plan to support a business. They also become familiar with how business decisions affect the short- and long-term success of a company and how different investment strategies can lead to different outcomes. This program coincides with the Academies of Nashville’s goal of providing students with real-world, hands-on learning in which they are expected to apply their academic knowledge in practical situations. Most importantly, in the Junior Achievement Titan Business Challenge, students must analyze situations, apply information under time constraints, interpret data, think critically, make decisions, and work as a team in order to succeed.
For more information about the Junior Achievement Titan Business Challenge presented by Caterpillar Financial, be sure to take a look at the official brochure for the event.