Fed Challenge lets school teams tackle national economic policies


March 07, 2000|By Sherry Graham | Sherry Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ECONOMICS AND monetary policy are not topics most students tackle every day, but they are paramount for those taking part in the Fed Challenge.

A team of Liberty High School freshmen went to the Federal Reserve Bank in Baltimore last week to test their knowledge of economics in the annual event, which gives students the opportunity to learn more about the national economy and the Federal Reserve System's role.

Andy Deitchman, Brad Dyjak, Andrew Gackenbach, Tuan Huynh, Myles Kitchen, Patrick Linz and Graham Long spent weeks researching, gathering and analyzing economic information to prepare their presentation.

Each student was responsible for presenting information on a topic, such as current economic conditions, prospects for inflation and unemployment, and significant issues that demand attention when formulating monetary policy.

The students went before a panel of three Federal Reserve employees who served as judges. The students presented information on economic conditions and their policy recommendations.

"It was interesting to think about the monetary policy in the country," said Long. "Before this, [Fed Chairman] Alan Greenspan was just a name, but now I know what he really does."

The students gained a great deal of knowledge about economic conditions and the decisions that go into making monetary policy in the United States, as well as in the global economy.

"Every decision made affects the entire economy and even has a global effect," said Gackenbach. "I really learned a lot about the logistics of economics."

Bruce Damasio, Liberty High's social studies chairman, guided the team as they prepared for the event. Damasio first entered a team in the event two years ago, and found the experience so positive he encouraged the freshmen to participate.

In addition to a more profound knowledge of economics, the students gained public speaking and presentation skills by participating.

"The judges were very impressed with the research and the students' polished delivery. They were very encouraging to the students," said Damasio. "I thought the kids did their best job."

By the end of this week, all participating schools will have made their presentations.

Damasio said he hopes the the Fed Challenge experience will move his "farm team" of freshmen to become a "major league team" during the next three years as they learn more about economics and participate again.

Craft fair

Liberty High School will hold its annual PTSA Craft Fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the school, 5855 Bartholow Road.

More than 150 vendors will offer crafts, jewelry, baskets and dried flowers. Refreshments will be available.

Admission is $1 for those older than 16. Parking is free. No strollers are permitted.

Information: Ginger Halvorsen, 410-795-6581.

Eisteddfod chorus

These Oklahoma Road Middle School pupils were recently selected as members of the All-County Eisteddfod Chorus: Brittany Bowen, Katie Bowen, Cathy Caviglia, Cindy Caviglia, Tiara Collins, Ashley Fuller, Jackie Jaeger, Courtney Jewell, Laura Kershaw, Matthew May, Jen Plummer, Callie Reese, Amanda Rife and Sami Schneider.

Sock hop

Girl Scout Troop 964 will be host of a Sock Hop from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. March 17 in the gym at St. Joseph's Church on Liberty Road in Eldersburg. Pupils in grades four to seven may attend.

Admission is $4. Information: Maria Smith, 410549-1722.

Sherry Graham's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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