In March, the Kansas City Fed hosted its annual Math X event to help high school students learn about careers in the field of economics.
About 50 students from three Kansas City area high schools attended the event, which was led by Bank employees who shared experiences from their careers. The program aims to simplify economic concepts to put the field of study within reach of students who may not be familiar with it.
Economist Jose Mustre-del-Rio provided opening remarks and boiled down the field of economics as the study of what makes people happy.
“Answers in economics are never black or white; they are always gray because they are about trade-offs,” he said. “We are humans, not atoms. We don’t follow natural laws that exist in physics and chemistry.”
The event included an interactive game to teach economic theory; a careers panel with several Bank employees whose work involves economics; and a tour of the Bank’s Money Museum.
Educator Megan Fitzgerald of Crossroads Academy, a charter school in Kansas City, said the program filled a need for her school, which doesn’t offer a course in economics.
“This is great to develop the kids’ interest and see if economics is something they want to pursue,” she said.
Emily Solis, a senior at J.C. Harmon High School in Kansas City, Kansas, plans to be a detective. However, she learned that studying economics will be beneficial to her in a way she hadn’t expected.
“I thought of economics as just history and money, but I’ve learned that it’s more about behaviors,” she said.