High School Students Match Wits in Governor’s Challenge in Economics and Personal Finance at VCU
Virginia Council on Economic Education
On Friday, April 20th, VCU’s Student Commons was abuzz with 150 high school students looking unusually focused and business-like. They were competing in the 2012 Governor’s Challenge in Economics and Personal Finance, going head to head in final quiz bowl rounds and preparing presentations for a panel of expert judges.
“The final championship round in advanced economics was extremely close, a real nail-biter,” according to Sarah Finley, executive director of the Virginia Council on Economic Education (VCEE), which conducts the event in partnership with the Governor’s Office and Virginia Department of Education.
Finley said the winning team in the advanced economics division outscored its opponent by only one point.
“The students showcase a tremendous grasp of economics, which is a goal of the event,” she says. “And they have a great time competing.” She added that special kudos goes to the teachers who provide their teams with the opportunity of participating, given the extra effort it entails.
Student teams from all over the state qualified to come to VCU for the Governor’s Challenge after an online phase of the competition determined regional winners and high-scorers in each of three divisions: advanced economics, economics and personal finance.
Case studies were presented in the personal finance division that spelled out exactly how students would tackle the financial scenario of a fictional two-income family struggling to pay their bills, buy a house, save for college and allocate for retirement.
“These students know how to apply what they learn in economics to the real world,” Finley said.
Finley added that the Governor’s Challenge is highlighting a new required high school course in economics and personal finance. Beginning with students entering the 9th grade this year, Virginia public school students will have to earn a credit in the course in order to graduate.
The exuberant young crowd gathered at VCU for the Governor’s Challenge had that requirement more than covered.
Jennifer Ferris, a teacher from Jefferson Forest High School in Bedford County, summed it up with confidence.
“I feel good knowing that students are better decision makers and engaged in the global economy, “ Ferris said. “After all, our future is in their hands.”
Virginia Council for Economic Education (VCEE) is a nonprofit public-private partnership, located in the VCU School of Business. VCEE provides Virginia’s K-12 students with economic knowledge and financial skills to thrive in our dynamic economy. For more information, visit www.VCEE.org or contact Judi Crenshaw at (804)827-7402.
Financial support for the Governor's Challenge was provided by: Appalachian Power, Dominion Foundation, Virginia Credit Union and Verizon Foundation.
Winners of the 2012 Governor's Challenge in Economics and Personal Finance include:
Adam Smith Division (advanced economics)
-1 st place: Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Fairfax County
-Runner up: Chantilly High School, Fairfax County
David Ricardo Division (economics)
-1 st Place: Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Fairfax County
-Runner up: Southampton High School, Southampton County
Personal Finance Division
-1 st Place: Western Albemarle High School, Albemarle County
-Runner up: Rappahannock County High School, Rappahannock County