Students Use Video Game to Learn Finance - 8 News NOW

Students Use Video Game to Learn Finance

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It may seem like a tough time to teach your kids about saving and investing money, but some lawmakers believe it's actually the perfect time. So along with math, science and history, kids at Jerome D. Mack Middle School will also be taking finance 101. They'll learn how to save, budget, and use credit cards.

But to make it fun for kids, Clark County teachers are using an unusual tool. They're playing soccer, and because it's like a video game, the kids love it.

Throughout the game, students answer questions about the difference between needs and wants or how to use a credit card wisely. The game was introduced at a Las Vegas school as part of a new bill that requires students to learn about money management before graduating high school.

It's called Financial Soccer. Secretary of State Ross Miller and Superintendent Walt Rulffes teamed up to show kids how the game works. It's pretty simple -- in order to make your way down the field and score a goal, you have to answer questions.

Seventh grader Daniel Zapata says he's learned about things he's never even thought about, like overdraft fees and spending wisely. "You saving money can get you better stuff than just spending all in one place," he said.

Zapata and his classmates started the game in their seats but by the end most of them were on their feet.

"There is no curriculm on earth that's going to give the kids this experience," said teacher Dwane Martinson.

Lawmakers hope the experience helps them understand they can become doctors or lawyers but without an understanding of how to manage money, you can still end up in the financial mess many people are in today. "Basic financial literacy is something that has been neglected for some time. I think that was recognized by the last legislative session when they passed the bill mandating it be taught it our schools," said Secretary Miller.

Miller says even at a time when teachers are being asked to do more with less, he hopes they'll help our future Americans avoid the bad loans, depreciated saving accounts, and credit card debt many of their parents are stuck in today.

The game was created by Visa and comes with a curriculum for teachers. It's totally free and anyone can get the game online.

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