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Gaming App Teaches NCC Students Financial Lessons

Students in the newly required Personal Finance class at Newport Central Catholic (NCC) were surprised to learn of their homework ‒ playing an online game. Through an innovative partnership with locally based OMEGA Processing Solutions, NCC students are being immersed into an online world of financial decision making via Thrive 'n' Shine, a gaming app.

Former Federal Reserve Chief Alan Greenspan has stated, "The number one problem in today's generation and economy is the lack of financial literacy." Studies show that students who take a class in personal finance are more likely to engage in financially responsible behaviors, including saving, budgeting and investing money. Recognizing this compelling educational need, NCC recently decided to require all students to take a personal finance class during their high school careers.

The current generation of high school students has been raised on computer screens and the Internet. As a result, it has been found that gaming provides an excellent alternative to traditional learning activities whereby learners can engage in subject matter in a fun and competitive way. In developing their personal finance course curriculum, NCC educators recognized the value of incorporating gaming as a way of reinforcing basic financial principles learned within the class.

Enter a serendipitous series of events that resulted in the introduction and connection of OMEGA Processing Solutions CEO Scott Anderson, NCC Principal Jason Huther and MindBlown Labs Co-founder Ty Moore. Through a personal connection, Anderson learned of MindBlown Labs' Thrive 'n' Shine venture and sought to support the implementation of the learning tool at the school.

"As a business owner and a parent, I see firsthand the importance of today's students learning the basics of personal finance," says Anderson. "As they prepare to enter the 'real world' students need to understand the long-lasting benefits of making sound financial decisions."

Students are introduced to approximately 15 learning outcomes through the Thrive 'n' Shine game, including taxes, budgeting, bankruptcy, insurance, credit cards, earnings potential and time value of money. By creating a character and progressing through the game, students begin to understand the ramifications of daily life choices. The game reinforces financial concepts taught during class in an engaging, competitive and personalized way. The formidable combination of the class and game have already made a measurable impact on NCC students.

"Students learned very quickly that if they forgot to do their 'job' each day, pay the rent or pay their taxes, they were going to have a tough time getting by," said Nathan Dilts, Personal Finance teacher at NCC. "The app gave our students a fun and unique way to learn. It was a great device for extended and real-life learning in our Personal Finance program."

"We're proud to have been able to partner with NCC on the introduction of this innovative and valuable learning tool," said OMEGA Processing's Anderson. "Throughout our company's history, we have taken an active role in supporting youth programs within our community. Thrive 'n' Shine provided us with a new opportunity to have a positive impact."

- Staff report/Image via Facebook