Dennis Hoggsett, as well as other LHS math teachers, have begun “The Game of Life” for students participating in the Algebra Three with Trigonometry class.

“The Game of Life,” lasts three weeks, with one week of class time to work on it, and focuses on financing a hypothetical future. 

The project is a conclusion to the financing unit that lasted for the first month of the second semester and is a way to reinforce the teachings of loans, reducing debt in a fun, safe and creative way.

The finance unit is a suitable mediator to adjust going from reviewing algebra two to learning more advanced and difficult trigonometry.

As a part of the activity, students are required to write a 10-page paper that contains graphs and formulas showing how the students got their answers.

“It’s a project that I’ve been doing for about 20 years and it stuck,” Hoggsett said.

Students were assigned income loans and debt by means of drawing cards.

Housing and cars are chosen by the students from catalogs and online offers. Utilities and necessities are chosen by the class and minimum costs for items such as food and water are set.

Each student is required to take out two loans and calculate the amount of time it would take to pay them off.

This is an individual project, but students can collaborate and help each other when needed.

“I hope the students take away how to finance, make money and save money,” Hoggsett said.

The project requires a title and pictures of what houses and vehicles the students bought. Students can own pets provided they could afford to care for them.

Some teachers are allowing students to do the project as “roommates” and come up with other items they deem necessary to have and budget for.

“In the past, we have gotten good feedback from students which is why we have continued with the project,” Hoggsett said.

The unit deters youth from relying on credit cards by showing them how much money and time it would take to pay off the debt.

After learning how the interest rates of houses fluctuate, students have gone home and helped refinance their parent’s mortgages and saved thousands of dollars by doing so. By refinancing mortgages, the amount of time to pay off the loan will start over but can be paid off faster due to lower interest rates.