The Biggest Money Wise Challenge Yet: Our June 2023 Challenge at ExCel London
On June 30th, the most anticipated Money Competition in London hit the stage at the ExCel. More than 700 students from 100 schools across 26 boroughs filled the Platinum Suite with their enthusiasm and excitement. Their mission: To save the city of London with their financial literacy knowledge, eradicating the villains of Debt, Unemployment, and Inflation.
The London Money Wise Challenge was co-organised by Dot Dot Fire, Money A+E and TELCO Citizens UK, with much-needed support from Barking and Dagenham College. The Money Wise Challenge featured three rounds of Dot Dot Fire’s award-winning Money Wise Game, listed as #2 on The Gamer’s Top Ten Mobile Games for Learning list.
Over 700 Students Joined us at ExCel London's Platinum Suite for the London Money Wise Challenge 2023
With the rise in the cost of living, the competition was centered around a futuristic City of London in 3050, a world where an evil entity, the Cost-of-Living Curse, and its minions Inflation, Debt and Unemployment, are wreaking havoc. Students were challenged with personal finance questions and real-life scenarios and used their financial and mathematical skills to lift the curse, simultaneously competing to be crowned Money Wise Champions.
Students of all ages were put to the test, applying their money-savvy skills to make the best financial decisions. In Rounds 1 and 2, contestants tackled digital challenges, alternating between short form quickfire rounds and longer case studies. Round 3 provided an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge in a real-world setting by visiting shopping stalls dotted around the Platinum Suite. Teachers expressed a positive response to the inclusivity of the game with one teacher stating that it was “paced well for our SEND learners at our school”.
With the suspense in the Platinum Suite rising as results were being announced, the outcome astonished us all. St Bonaventure’s School, already champions at the East London Money Wise Challenge 2022, were once again crowned Money Wise Champions for the year 7-9 category. Stratford Manor Primary took home the trophy for the Year 5-6 category. The underdogs of the competition, Waldegrave School, were newcomers to the Challenge, yet still took gold in the year 10-11 category. Through their personal experience, students emphasized the importance for their own school to introduce the game into the curriculum, so they can gain confidence in their ability to make sensible financial decisions.
St. Bonaventure's Students Celebrating their Win at the Money Wise Challenge. Photo by Liz Isles Photography.
Schoolchildren weren’t the only young people benefitting from the Money Wise Challenge. Dot Dot Fire also provided a work experience opportunity to 22 Barking and Dagenham College, who learned valuable skills for their future careers by helping to support the planning and smooth running of the Challenge.
Rokhsana Fiaz OBE, Mayor of Newham, a guest of honour at the event, motivated competitors and expressed the importance of “knowing how to manage your money, pocket money and generally understanding how it works”. Mayor Fiaz also stated that she hopes to witness the growth of the Dot Dot Fire Money Wise Game as it is incorporated into more school curricula.
Implementing a more engaging and useful method of educating the current generation about money matters is crucial. We at Dot Dot Fire considered it essential for them to hear from existing professionals and executives in a panel discussion integrated into the storyline during the Challenge, motivating and educating them about the realities of finance to prepare them for their future.
After the event, several guests shared their positive experiences witnessing young people learn vital financial skills through gaming:
Barry Saitch, director of Finance at ExCel, said:
“I was their age, I didn't have these initiatives, so they have a head start. Hopefully us putting events like these on will help them manage financial things in the future.”
With the increase in the cost of living, we must equip the younger generation with the tools to prepare themselves for their future. Maium Talukdar, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Education, Youth and Lifelong Learning of Tower Hamlets observed that the Money Wise Challenge is:
“About an opportunity, about learning, about thriving, so I think everything is in it.”