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High School Fed Challenge

High School Fed Challenge

2019 Midwest Winners, University School of Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI)

What is the High School Fed Challenge?

The 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 the work of the Federal Open Market Committee. The challenge offers students an enriching experience to think critically about the economy, construct an argument and present their well-crafted research findings to Federal Reserve Bank economists.

How to get involved?

Dates for the 2020 High School Fed Challenge are as follows:

  • Detroit Fed Challenge Orientation / Workshop: January 14, 2020
  • Chicago Fed Challenge Orientation / Workshop: February 12, 2020
  • Detroit Fed Challenge Preliminary Round I: March 18, 2020
  • Chicago Preliminary Round II and Final Round: April 21, 2020

Contact Cindy Ivanac-Lillig to get your school involved.

How does the Fed Challenge Work?

School teams within the Seventh District are invited to participate in the annual Fed Challenge. Five students are chosen to represent their school in a simulated FOMC meeting where students take 15 minutes to discuss the current conditions of the U.S. economy, present a short-term forecast and offer policy recommendations based on their analysis. After their presentation, each team must defend its recommendation before a panel of Fed economists in a 10-minute Q&A session.

Benefits of the Fed Challenge

The Fed Challenge is designed to align with the Framework for 21st Century Skills and Common Core State Standards. These frameworks stress the importance of developing skills in critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration to prepare young adults for college and life.

Students participating in the Fed Challenge gain the following:

  • Ability to analyze real data and use industry tools to assess the U.S. economy.
  • Prepare a well-organized presentation to demonstrate research findings and provide recommendations.
  • Develop critical thinking skills in preparation for a live Q&A session with professional economists.
  • Skills necessary for successful collaboration with team members including communication, flexibility, organizing, planning, listening and problem-solving.

Past Fed Challenge Winners

2019 Competition Results

Winning team: University School of Milwaukee

Finalist Team:

  • Nicolet High School – Glendale, WI
The 2019 Midwest High School Fed Challenge winners, from the University School of Milwaukee.

2018 Competition Results

Winning team: St. Joseph's High School

Two Finalist Teams:

  • Okemos High School – Okemos, Michigan
  • William Fremd High School – Palatine, Illinois
The 2018 Midwest High School Fed Challenge winners, from St. Joseph's High School in South Bend, IN

How does the Fed Challenge Work?



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

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