High school students from across the country were in New York to compete in a Jeopardy-style tournament with one category: economics. Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following Money Matters Report.
Dozen of teens from Hawaii to New York City recently competed in the 14th Annual National Economics Challenge where they were quizzed about anything and everything involving economics.
"Microeconomics, macroeconomics, international relations, current events, anything where you need to understand about how the economy works,” Nan Morrison said.
While over 10,000 students competed across the country, only the top eight teams made it to the finals in New York. Several rounds of testing narrowed it down further until the top two teams in each division got to take the stage for an intense Jeopardy-style quizbowl.
"Positive externality,” said one contestant.
"Mortgage backed securities,” said another.
"A shift in the supply curve to the left,” said a third.
"That is correct,” said a judge.
The teams spent months training for this event.
"Every day after school we study for like three or four hours,” said Jessica Durfee of the Little Falls Community High School in Minnesota.
But that isn't to say it's all work and no play. The success of the competition depends upon the element of fun.
"First of all, kids love competing in things. So I was on the math team in high school and I loved the learning, the extra learning, the competition, being with my friends, meeting kids from other schools from all across the country. It was really great,” said Morrison.
"Having a competition definitely added an element of interest and energy and it was great fun,” said coach Barbara Asch.
"The actual competition is a lot of fun and there's a lot of really cool people here that I've met,” said Christine Siyng Wang of Carmel High School in Indiana.
The winning teams got trophies, of course, and that other big prize: the chance to ring the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange.
How exciting would that be?
"Depends whether I'm up or down,” said Axel Stephan Feldmann of Hunter College High School in New York City.
So Feldmann seems well on his way to career in finance, but whether or not the rest of these kids go on to major in economics, organizers hope they'll all come away with a better understanding of the role it plays and will continue to play in their lives.
"Economics affects every aspect of your financial life. So I think it's really important to be up to date and informed about economics,” said Patrick Girardet of Bellaire High School in Texas.