The purpose of the event is to introduce the field of economics to high school students, with the hope that they might consider studying it in college and choosing it as a career.
The 2019 Math X program included presentations and activities led by the Bank’s research associates, who typically work in Economic Research for two to three years after receiving their undergraduate degrees.
“I think the best way to get students interested in the field is to show how economic thinking can be applied to so many topics, so almost everyone can find something that speaks to them,” said McKenzie Humann, a research associate who led some of the Math X activities.
The fast-paced program featured an interactive icebreaker, an overview of the field of economics, group discussions with Bank employees and a game activity in which students had to use limited resources to buy and barter materials as prices fluctuated. The game taught economic concepts such as the benefits of trade and the elasticity of demand. Students found the program eye-opening.
“I’m learning that lots of things I learn at school go into economics,” said Nikela Reed, a junior at Ruskin High School in Kansas City, Missouri. “Biology, sociology, math, behavioral science—these are all part of economics.”
NaAliah Griffith, a senior at Center High School in Kansas City, Missouri, plans to major in finance and enjoyed learning about career possibilities within the world of economics. NaAliah attended the 2018 Math X event and felt that the game activity helped build on what she had learned.
“This is more about how to use resources wisely and think strategically—and be aware of other people around us,” she said. “It’s really cool.”
Learn more about the work of economists at the Bank.