High School Fed Challenge
High School Fed Challenge is an academic competition that provides students grades 9–12 the opportunity to study the U.S. economy through the lens of the U.S. central bank. The program is designed to encourage students to learn more about economics and about the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the policymaking group that makes interest rate decisions to foster economic strength and stability. From credit card interest rates to the price of a loaf of bread, the effects of monetary policy, set by the Federal Reserve System, are felt in many aspects of our daily lives.
Fed Challenge is designed to promote a better understanding of:
- Our nation's central bank (National Economic Standards 11, 17, and 20);
- The function of money in our economy (National Economic Standard 11); and
- The complexities of making policy decisions (National Economic Standards 11, 16, and 17).
Fed Challenge encourages students to build a 21st century skill set by:
- Analyzing real data and using industry tools to assess the US economy
- Developing a simulation to showcase assessment and recommendations
- Gaining exposure to professional economists
- Being evaluated on quality of teamwork
- Developing critical thinking skills in preparation for a live question and answer session with professional economists
- Making personal connections that will last beyond high school
(source: Partnership for 21st Century Skills)
How Does Fed Challenge Work?
High school student teams prepare a 15-minute presentation / skit (often a mock FOMC policy meeting). Each team presents their analysis of the current U.S. economy, a short-term forecast for the economy, and their policy recommendation. The team must then defend its analysis before a panel of professional economists in a 10-minute question-and-answer session.
Fed Challenge teams are evaluated on the following criteria:
- Knowledge of the Federal Reserve, monetary policy, and current economic conditions;
- Response to judges' questions;
- Quality of presentation;
- Quality of research and analysis; and