High School Fed Challenge

The High School Fed Challenge offers the opportunity for students to develop skills in teamwork, research, data literacy, and analytical writing. Student teams author economics research and pursue recognition in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Journal of Future Economists.

What is the High School Fed Challenge?

The High School Fed Challenge is an educational program that aims to encourage students in grades 9 – 12 to learn more about economics and promote interest in economics as a subject for study and the basis for a career. Previous study of economics is not required – only intellectual curiosity and interest in exploring an economic theme.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York designates the annual competition theme. Entering teams may select any topic that explicitly relates to this theme for academic research, which will be submitted for evaluation to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Bank judges select submissions to be published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in the Journal of Future Economists. In addition to gaining broader exposure to the field of economics, all entering teams will receive recognition in the Journal of Future Economists.

What You Need to Know

The High School Fed Challenge academic competition encourages students to work as a team to develop and enhance their skills in critical thinking, creativity, writing, time management, and conducting rigorous research. This experience will prepare students for academic success at the collegiate level and help students build analytical and communications skills for use in their future careers.

Everything you need to know about the program and rules for participation:

2021 - 2022 Rule Book
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To compete, teams of three to eight students write an entry (between 1,500 – 2,500 words) on a topic that explicitly relates to the annual competition’s economic theme, selected by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Each eligible high school may register one team and each registered team can submit one entry for the year’s competition.

Each student team must have one to two adult advisors. At least one advisor must be designated by the principal of the competing school and neither advisor may be an employee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York will select submissions to be published in its Journal of Future Economists based on a holistic evaluation that will include, but may not be limited to:

  • Academic quality. Each submission will be evaluated according to the rubric included in the rule book for the academic year.
  • Geographic diversity. Selection for publication will consider representation of the various communities within the Federal Reserve’s Second District.
  • Relevance and variety of topics submitted.

The 2021 - 2022 competition theme is Economics of Climate Change

“There is no doubt that climate change poses profound challenges for the global economy and increased uncertainty for the financial system.” —Jerome Powell, Chair, Federal Reserve Board of Governors

Climate change and its effects, such as higher temperatures and extreme weather, will impact the economic and financial health of businesses, governments, and households. The uncertainty of the threat and the global nature of the problem makes climate change both a micro and macroeconomic risk factor for financial institutions and overall financial stability.

The New York Fed conducts research to better understand climate change and its links to broader economic health and we have provided an online collection of different resources available from the Bank and other sources. We invite High School Fed Challenge teams to submit academically researched podcast scripts on any topic that relates explicitly to this theme.

How to Get Started
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A team consists of three to eight students who attend the same high school, advised by one to two adult advisors. A team can be formed in a number of ways:

  • As part of an extracurricular activity. The team is made up of student volunteers and one to two faculty advisors who work on the Fed Challenge as a club or enrichment program.
  • As the result of a class- or school-based competition. The class is divided into teams. Each team researches and writes a submission that is evaluated by the rest of the class or school faculty; one team is selected to represent the school. Alternatively, team selection can be extended to all the classes in a school by choosing either a top submission or a team of the school's most accomplished authors.
  • By teacher selection. A teacher assembles a team on the basis of overall performance, an in-class assignment, or expressed interest in the subject of economics.
  • By student interest. Three to eight interested students may wish to participate and can request that their school principal designate an advisor for the team. Please ensure that the school principal officially acknowledges the team as the school’s High School Fed Challenge team and that an adult advisor is designated by the principal to manage team activities and communication with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Teams without official sponsorship from their school may not participate.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York will provide an online collection of different resources available from the Bank and other sources to help students research the annual competition theme and select a topic. Students are not restricted to using the resources made available by the Bank, and may use other reputable or scholarly sources for their research. However, the topic selected must relate explicitly to the annual competition theme.

What is the difference between the competition theme and the topic?

The annual competition theme is designated by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It will always relate to economics and have relevance in the field. Competing teams will write academically about topics that explicitly relate to the same annual theme. However, topics can vary, will be tend to be more specific, and will differ across teams.

For example, if the designated theme were “Birthdays,” teams could decide to research and write about a variety of topics such as:

  • Surprise! Types and social implications of birthday celebrations in the United States from 1910 – 1950
  • Differences in the flavors of birthday cakes bought or made: A case comparison of New York City and Buffalo, NY
  • Are you more likely to be named Dion in December in Denville? The relationship between name selection and birthday dates for newborns in New Jersey
  • The global distribution of birthdays and impact on population growth rates

Note that the only requirement is that topics relate explicitly to the theme. A topic may be local, state, national, or global in scope. Sources and exhibits may provide quantitative or qualitative evidence to support the research thesis (argument or perspective on the topic).


How to Register
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Registration is now open! Faculty advisors must register their teams online, on or before February 15, 2022.

  • One team from each school is allowed to enter.
  • All correspondence and communication regarding participation in the High School Fed Challenge will be done electronically through the New York Fed's website or email. It is the responsibility of faculty advisors and student participants to read and understand the competition rule book for the academic year as posted on the website, check the website for notices and other materials, read all email messages carefully, and be aware of competition rules and deadlines. There will be no exceptions to this policy.

Faculty advisors will be asked to:

  • Fill out all information about the team in the online registration system.
  • Send a completed principal endorsement form via email to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Economic Education team at nyeconed@ny.frb.org. This endorsement is required for team participation and will be available in September 2021.

Note: Advisors may not be current employees of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate in High School Fed Challenge?

Participating high schools must be:

  • Located in the Second Federal Reserve District, which includes New York State; Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren Counties in New Jersey; Fairfield County in Connecticut; Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands; or
  • Recognized by The Sadie Collective. As part of a pilot program, high school teams working with The Sadie Collective (inside or outside of the Second Federal Reserve District) are also eligible.

Read more FAQs

How can my school register to compete in High School Fed Challenge?

To register for High School Fed Challenge, a faculty advisor from the school must complete an online registration form, on or before the registration deadline. To complete registration, the advisor must also submit a completed Principal Acknowledgement form (signed by the principal), which confirms that the faculty member is the school’s appointed faculty advisor for its High School Fed Challenge team.

Does my school need to register? Why can’t we just submit without registering?

Teams must register for the competition before submitting their work for evaluation. We would like to know of your school’s intention to submit so that we can better communicate with faculty advisors if there are any questions along the way. Timely registration will also help us to better manage the evaluation process.

What if my school registers and then the team decides not to compete? Or doesn’t finish its submission?

If registered teams decide not to submit, we would appreciate a notification in writing to nyeconed@ny.frb.org. However, if registered teams simply do not submit their work on or before the submission deadline, they will not be eligible to compete.

When can my school register to compete? When will the theme be announced?

Registration will open in September and teams must register on or before the registration deadline at 11:59 p.m. The theme for the 2021 – 2022 academic competition will be announced in September 2021, when online registration for the competition is available.

What are the rules of the High School Fed Challenge?

The High School Fed Challenge rule book is available online. Previous rule books may be available for reference purposes but please ensure you follow the rule book for the academic year in which your team is competing.

How does a team “win” the High School Fed Challenge?

The High School Fed Challenge will not designate only one winning team. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York competition judges will evaluate and select submissions to be published by the Bank in its Journal of Future Economists.

When is the deadline for papers to be submitted for the High School Fed Challenge?

To be considered for publication in the Journal of Future Economists, school teams must submit their final paper on or before the published submission deadline at 11:59 p.m. via email to nyeconed@ny.frb.org. Papers must be submitted on or before the deadline. Exceptions will not be made for late submissions.

How will the Federal Reserve Bank of New York evaluate the submissions?

The selection process for publication in the Journal of Future Economists will be based on a holistic evaluation that will consider academic quality, geographic representation of the various communities within the Federal Reserve’s Second District, and the relevance and variety of topics submitted. The evaluation committee will be comprised of Federal Reserve Bank of New York employees. More information on the evaluation process can be found in the rubric listed in the rule book.

How many submissions will be selected for publication in Journal of Future Economists?

The holistic evaluation process will review each submission carefully. We anticipate that the committee will select as many submissions to be published as possible.

How will we be notified if our school team’s work is selected for publication in the Journal of Future Economists?

The faculty advisors for all school teams that submit on or before the submission deadline at 11:59 p.m. via email to nyeconed@ny.frb.org will receive a selection notification by email, on or before the notification deadline. The notification will indicate whether or not the paper has been selected for publication.

What if our school team’s submission is not selected for publication in the Journal of Future Economists?

All school teams that submit on or before the submission deadline at 11:59 p.m. via email to nyeconed@ny.frb.org will be acknowledged as competition participants in the Journal of Future Economists. A selection notification will be sent via email on or before the notification deadline, which will indicate whether the paper has been selected for publication.

What if our school team’s work is not selected for publication and I disagree with the evaluation?

Decisions regarding the evaluation and selection for publication will be final. We understand that some teams will be disappointed. There is a subjective element in all types of evaluations. Decisions will not be made lightly, but they will be final. We kindly ask that faculty, students, parents, and Bank personnel conduct themselves professionally, respectfully, and with integrity during all communications and interactions associated with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York High School Fed Challenge.

Who is publishing the Journal of Future Economists? How can I get a copy?

The Journal of Future Economists will be published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It will be available in digital and print form. We anticipate that it will be made available at no cost and at least one print copy will be provided to each participating school, as well as each individual member of the published teams.

When will the Journal of Future Economists be available? How often will it be published?

The Journal will be finalized and available during the summer. It will be published annually to recognize the authors of the selected submissions and acknowledge all of the teams in High School Fed Challenge each year.

See selected papers for the 2021 Journal of Future Economists
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Congratulations to the following schools, who have been published in the inaugural issue of the Journal of Future Economists. The schools and papers that will be included in the journal are as follows, listed by school name, in alphabetical order:

  • Greenwich High School of Greenwich, CT; The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Circular Relationship Between Educational and Economic Inequality
  • Leonia High School of Leonia, NJ; The Federal Reserve System's Impact on Economic Inequality: How Different Types of Monetary Policy Affect the Wealth and Income Gap
  • Marlboro High School of Marlboro, NJ; The Stock Market's Role in Economic Inequality
  • Mount Saint Mary Academy of Watchung, NJ; Leading Factors of Gender Inequality
  • North Rockland High School of Thiells, NY; Does Lack of Money Affect Children's Mental and Physical Well-Being Later in Life?
  • Ridgewood High School of Ridgewood, NJ; A Lasting Legacy: An Analysis of the Causes and Potential Solutions to U.S. Housing Inequality with a Focus on New Jersey
  • Shaker High School of Latham, NY; A New Approach to Forecasting Inequality: Using Machine Learning to Predict the Gini Coefficient
  • The Bronx High School of Science of New York, NY; LGBT and Economic Inequality: A Hidden Gender Gap
  • The High School for Math, Science and Engineering at the City College of New York of New York, NY, The Effects of Gentrification on Economic Inequality in Bedford-Stuyvesant
  • The Koinonia Academy of Plainfield, NJ; Make Noise: The Socioeconomic Effects of Riots on Urban Areas
  • Westhill High School of Stamford, CT; Tackling Income Inequality in the United States
  • William A. Shine Great Neck South High School of Great Neck, NY; Impacts of Financial Literacy on Income Inequality: How Do Education and Economic Opportunities Matter?

Download the 2021 Journal of Future Economists
Schedule
Event
Date
Theme Announcement & Registration Begins
September 8, 2021
Registration Deadline
February 15, 2022
Paper Submission Deadline
March 15, 2022
Notification of Publication Decision
May 16, 2022
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