Rob Grunewald - Associate Editor, Statistics
Published December 1, 1998 | December 1998 issue
Where do you find students presenting economic data at a mock FOMC meeting, surfing the Web for money supply figures and taking economics tests in an interscholastic competition? These students are participating in programs sponsored by Federal Reserve banks and the Board of Governors.
The Federal Reserve is invested in educating young people about money, banking and the role of the "Fed." By learning the Fed's "secrets," students make more informed economic decisions and understand how Fed policies affect their everyday lives. Education opportunities range from student competitions to curriculum units.
Several Reserve banks sponsor the "Fed Challenge," where teams of students present economic data and recommendations on monetary policy before a panel of judges. Winning teams from each participating bank meet at the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., for a play-off.
Another Fed program pits teams of students against each other to see which team scores highest on a series of economics tests. Students review team scores between rounds to strategize on how to approach the next test. Some Reserve banks also sponsor an essay contest for high school students on an economics and banking issue.
Teachers and students of all grade levels watch videos and read publications and curriculum materials published by Reserve banks. They also browse Fed Web sites for current economic data, information on monetary policy and even use calculators that adjust prices for inflation or find the redemption value of a savings bond. Several Reserve banks sponsor seminars for educators.
Education efforts reach diverse audiences, such as a class coordinated with a reservation college for Native American students and programs with the Center for Economic Education at Gallaudet University, a four-year college for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.