Montana High School Students Compete In Annual Business Simulation

Bozeman - Montana Council on Economic Education, a partner program with Montana State University’s Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics, recently recognized student teams from high schools around the state for their success in an annual business simulation game designed to promote financial literacy and business sense.

The Big Sky Biz Sim by First Interstate Bank, which ran from early February through last week, is an in-class business simulation in which students make operating decisions for a business they devise to produce, sell and distribute “widgets”. Those decisions impact the theoretical stock market prices of their businesses, which are then compared to other teams across the state at the end of each week.

Since the first Biz Sim in 2000 — then called the High School Business Challenge — more than 24,000 students have participated, according to MCEE Executive Director Dax Schieffer. Thirty-four schools participated this year, making up 386 student teams. 

“We’re pleased to work with our sponsors to offer this engaging simulation to Montana’s youth who apply lessons in decision making, teamwork, communication and critical thinking in running a business for eight weeks,” Schieffer said. “We’re developing the professional business skills that employers are asking for to meet the significant workforce needs our state will face in the coming years. The investments MCEE is making today will pay dividends tomorrow for Montana’s economy.”

The top five teams qualifying for cash prizes were from Sidney High School, taught by Russ Biniek. Each student team came up with a name for their fictional company.

1. Innova – Emma Lund, Braylon DiFonzo, Vistor Piedra

2. Flight of the Widgets – Pichit Charoenpanich, Kassadee Olson, Isaac Quiroz

3. Widgetback – Garrett Dodds, Taylor Stewart

4. Sysygy – Jade Emly, Matthew Hansen

5. Widgetzilla – Corben Holler, Gariella Juarez, Amavia Kim

More information can be found on the Montana Council on Economic Education’s website,


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