Gen Z will be entering into a professional landscape marked by automation and innovation. What does it mean to prepare students for a changing workforce?

They’re among the first to grow up with a thriving gig economy and yet their graduating peers report financial literacy as the area of greatest need. How do we bring the real world into the classroom to prepare them today?

Lauren Pingul, an implementation manager in Illinois, sat down with Dr. Dan Zapp, Senior Director of Research, to dig into FutureSmart, the online resource the MassMutual Foundation is providing to middle school educators across the United States. Dr. Dan shared outcomes from the research on FutureSmart, leading to the ultimate takeaway that all students benefit when exposed to FutureSmart. Then educators Gianna Gurga and Nicole Albion, discussed how they have incorporated the lessons to teach their students financial real-world skills, including a grocery-shopping experience, a virtual ATM activity, glow-in-the-dark games, and shark-tank style activities. Nicole also touched on actively developing interpersonal and time management skills in the classroom. Finally, we wrapped things up by sharing some parent and teacher resources.

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Is Gen Z Career Ready Slide Deck

Featured Resources

FutureSmart: The resource provides financial literacy for kids in grades 6-8 and empowers them to effectively manage their finances, make sound decisions, and become financially responsible. Through a story-based narrative and interactive exercises, students learn to make real-life decisions about their personal finances, as well as achieve important goals around saving money, education and career planning, and budgeting.

Celebration Worksheet: This worksheet asks students to shop for a party on a budget. You can have this project remain theoretical, or you can turn it into an opportunity for active learning by creating your own store within your school.

FutureSmart Research Takeaways: A summary of the hypotheses, methods and outcomes of the FutureSmart research.


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