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.

Last Updated: 02/26/18

2018 Fed Challenge Dates Announced

Think your students would like to be the Federal Open Market Committee for a day and try their hands at monetary policy? Then sign up your Fed Challenge teams today. 

Fed Challenge 2018 Workshops

Students and educators are welcome.

Chicago Headquarters: Thursday, January 25, 2018, 9:00 a.m. CT to 2:00 p.m. CT

Detroit Branch: Tuesday, January 30, 2018, 9:00 a.m. ET to 2:00 p.m. E.T.

RSVP by January 18, 2018 for Chicago and January 25, 2018 for Detroit: Katherine Nelson (Detroit) via email or Mariann Rapp (Chicago) via email.


Fed Challenge 2018 Competitions

Preliminary and Final Rounds are in Chicago; Michigan Round is held in Detroit.

Chicago Headquarters: Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Detroit Branch: April 9, 2018

Register for Michigan Round by February 15, 2018: Katherine Nelson via email.

Register teams for Chicago Preliminary and Finals by March 31, 2018: Mariann Rapp via email.

Midwest Fed Challenge: 2017 Winners!

A team of five students from Carmel High School in Carmel, IN, won the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s 2016 Midwest Fed Challenge Competition.

The team included:

Faculty Advisor

Paul Clayton

Team Members

Darren Chang
Drew Seketa
Matt Simons
Micheal Wang
Zach Gartenhaus

Taking second place was a team of seven students from St. Joseph High School in South Bend, IN.

Faculty Advisors

Julie Chismar and Phil De Pauw  

Team Members

Anna Staud
Maggie Griffin
Margaret McGreevy
Marty Kennedy
Meagan Luck
Rose Kelly
Ryan Farrisee

Building a 21st Century Learning Environment

Fed Challenge students:


  • Analyze real data and use industry tools to assess the US economy
  • Develop a simulation to showcase assessment and recommendations
  • Gain exposure to professional economists from the Chicago Fed and sister organizations
  • Be evaluated on quality of teamwork
  • Develop critical thinking skills in preparation for live question and answer session with professional economists
  • Make personal connections that will last beyond high school

In Support of 21st Century Skills Framework

By the Partnership for 21st Century Skills


  • Focuses on 21st Century Skills, content knowledge and expertise.
  • Builds understanding across and among core subjects, as well as 21st Century interdisciplinary themes.
  • Emphasizes deep understanding, rather than shallow knowledge.
  • Engages students with the real world data, tools and experts that they will encounter in college, on the job and in life: Students learn best when actively engaged in solving meaningful problems.
  • Allows for multiple measures of mastery.

How Does Fed Challenge Work?

High school student teams from District schools take part in a simulated FOMC meeting. Each team of five students takes 15 minutes to analyze the U.S. economy, presents a short-term forecast for the economy and makes a monetary policy recommendation. The team must then defend its presentation before a panel of Fed economists in a 10-minute question-and-answer session.

Contact Us
Cindy Ivanac-Lillig
(312) 322-6137
In the Federal Reserve System

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604-1413, USA. Tel. (312) 322-5322

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