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: 04/25/18

Midwest Fed Challenge: 2018 Winners!

2018 fed challenge winners st joes hs

There was a tough, but exciting competition this year for the Midwest Fed Challenge 2018 title. This year’s three finalist teams were St. Joseph’s High School from South Bend, IN; Okemos High School from Okemos, MI; and William Fremd High School from Palatine, IL. St. Joe's came to Chicago determined to reclaim their Fed Challenge title. They even took on monetary policy and economics nom de plumes for the day. When all was said and done, St. Joe's determination and hard work won the day for them.

Faculty Advisors

Julia Chismar
Phil DePauw

Team Members

Maggie Barrett
Maggie Griffin
Margaret McGreevy
Thomas Pries
Anna Staud 

2017 Fed Challenge Winners

A team of five students from Carmel High School in Carmel, IN, won the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s 2017 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
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