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CASTINE, Maine – High school students from Deer Isle-Stonington, Bucksport, and the Maine Central Institute came to Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) Wednesday, February 13 to take part in the Junior Achievement of Maine’s state-wide Titan Challenge, a day-long virtual business competition. The event was hosted by the Loeb-Sullivan School of International Business and Logistics. The competition was also sponsored by Travelers Insurance.
There were six universities acting as host sites for nearly seventy teams representing thirty-three Maine high schools. TeamMariners1 from Deer Isle-Stonington was the regional site winner, closely followed by Bucksport5 from Bucksport. Both teams finished in the top twenty state-wide.
The Challenge used a business simulator which required teams of three to work together and make decisions that would determine whether their business would “flourish” or “fail.” The decisions ranged from how much to spend on research and development, marketing, productions, and capital investments to setting the price of their products. Teams were assigned points for how well their company performed during each simulated business quarter. The team with the most points after all four quarters won the competition.
“The event is awesome,” said Ted Nichols, an MMA sophomore and mentor. “This is the first time we have ever held a [Junior Achievement] simulation … I believe the kids are learning a lot.”
The students were separated in to ten teams of three and paired with a local business professional to take part in the virtual competition.
Each team was also assigned a mentor; a member of the Student Business and Logistics Association, or SBLA, at the Academy. Mentors not only assisted the teams during the competition, they also provided short classes showcasing subject matter within the International Business and Logistics major at the Academy.
During a lunch break, students were given the opportunity to take a campus tour and learn more about the educational opportunities at MMA.
While he saw this year’s event as an overall success, Nichols explained that in the future the SBLA would like to see an even greater number of students participate.
“I think, as an organization, we are looking to expand on this,” the Kennebunk native said. “I know next year we want to attract a few new schools, hopefully enough to double the number of participating teams.” SBLA is looking forward to hosting the event again next year and would like to invite all high schools to participate.
The Junior Achievement program started in 1919 as an after-school program for high school students to prepare them for life after high school by teaching them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs to benefit their community, and how to apply an entrepreneurial mentality to the workplace.
For more information on the Junior Achievement of Maine program, visit its website at jamaine.org.
Maine Maritime Academy is a small, co-educational, public college on the coast of Maine that offers programs in engineering, management, science, and transportation. For more information, visit mainemaritime.edu.