High school economics class gifted $10,000 for real-world lesson in investments

In Mr. Kaminsky's economics class, St. Mary's High School students have a real investment in their education – a $10,000 investment of real, cold hard cash. 

At the start of the school year, social studies teacher Nick Kaminsky received the money from an anonymous donor who had the idea for a project. The goal? For students to learn about investing in a meaningful way. 

"At first, the students didn't quite believe me, but at this point, most of them do," Kaminsky told FOX 9. 

"We look at our portfolios each morning to see how they are doing, if they've gone up or down and why they've gone up or down... They are much more engaged because they have skin in the game."

Any money they make can be used on something for the class, like a trip or a party at the end of the year. Any money they lose must be paid back in the form of community service hours. 
"It's very eye opening to see the impact of how the world is impacting our money," said junior Emily Hellget. 

High school students in Sleepy Eye are getting a real-world lesson on investing with real cash - an anonymous donor gave Nick Kaminsky’s economics class $10,000 with the goal of teaching students about the stock market in an impactful way.

Over the last few weeks, they've gotten a crash course on the ups and downs of the stock market. 

"You can see where (the stocks) totally drop off. That was the Russian invasion of Ukraine," said Kaminsky. 

They're now feeling the same worries many investors are when looking at their portfolios. 

"Looking at your stocks every day is something that I would not do if I had my own. It's super stressful!" said junior Abby Schwartz. 

The class isn't just about making money though. The focus is learning about long-term, responsible investing. 

The stock market can be intimidating and confusing for some, and Kaminsky hopes this class gives his students a jumpstart on how to be confident investors in the future. 

"If I could go back, most of the things in my life, I wouldn't change one thing. The one thing I would change is learning more about investments, compound interest, mutual funds – things like that," said Kaminsky.