JA Banks in Action

Through hands-on classroom activities and local, regional, and national competitions, JA Banks in Action teaches high school students the principles of the banking industry, and introduces them to the challenges of successfully operating a bank in a competitive environment. JA Banks in Action not only educates young people around the world about the banking industry, but also encourages them to become better citizens and smarter consumers.

The key learning objectives listed beside each session state the skills and knowledge students will gain.

Session One: The Building Blocks of Banking

Students are introduced to the basics of banking, including exploring the history of the industry, its primary operations and procedures, and its products and services.

Key Learning Objectives

Students learn about:

  • Important milestones in banking history.
  • How banks earn a profit.
  • Banking products and services.
Session Two: Short-Terms and Loans

Students are introduced to short-term deposit and loan products. They play a game that illustrates how a bank’s income is affected by spread (the difference between the interest rate a bank charges borrowers and the rate it pays depositors).

Key Learning Objectives

Students learn about:

  • Features of short-term deposit and short-term loan products.
  • Reasons why short-term deposit interest rates typically are low.
  • Reasons why short-term loan interest rates typically are high.
  • The concept of spread.
Session Three: Decide on Short-Term Products

Students review the key terms introduced during the previous sessions. They also are introduced to the JA Banks in Action computer simulation and compete in the game by adjusting short-term deposit and loan rates to become the team with the greatest assets.

Key Learning Objectives

Students learn about:

  • Key banking terms introduced during the first two sessions.
  • The features of the computer banking simulation.
  • The effect of setting short-term deposit and short-term loan interest rates using the computer banking simulation.
Session Four: Long-Term Opportunity

Students learn about long-term deposit and loan products. They work in teams to determine the best banking products for a variety of scenarios. Students also consider capacity, character, and collateral when deciding whether or not to approve or deny loan applications.

Key Learning Objectives

Students learn about:

  • Features of long-term deposit and long-term loan products.
  • Reasons why long-term deposit interest rates typically are high.
  • Reasons why long-term loan interest rates typically are low.
Session Five: Decide on Long-Term Products:

Students complete a flow chart that demonstrates balancing assets and liabilities. They also make long-term deposit and loan interest-rate decisions using the JA Banks in Action computer simulation.

Key Learning Objectives

Students learn about:

  • The importance of balancing assets and liabilities.
  • The effect of setting long-term deposit and long-term loan interest rates using the computer banking simulation.
Session Six: Spend Money to Make Money:

By analyzing a variety of banking research and development options, bank teams identify which investment option is best. Teams then create a list of benefits that can be used to market their investment. They also make research and development, and marketing decisions using theJA Banks in Action computer simulation.

Key Learning Objectives

Students learn about:

  • The costs and benefits of a variety of research and development options.
  • The importance of marketing for the promotion of banking products and services.
  • The effect of investing in research and development, and marketing on a bank’s profits using the computer banking simulation.
Session Seven: Behind the Scenes:

Students learn about career opportunities in the banking industry. They analyze a variety of banking job descriptions and identify which rely primarily on skills in working with people, data, things, or ideas. In teams, they identify ways in which they can invest in their own human capital.

Key Learning Objectives

Students learn about:

  • The variety of banking careers that are available to them.
  • How an investment in human capital leads to improved job skills and potential earnings.
Session Eight: The Competition-Bank of Choice:

Students review the banking concepts explored in previous sessions. Using this knowledge, they compete in a classroom competition to become the banking team with the most assets – the Bank of Choice.

Key Learning Objectives

Students learn about:

  • Identify how key banking decisions affect a banks performance.
  • Compete in a computer simulation that draws on their knowledge of banking decisions made in previous lessons.