DP Econ Challenge Team Wins SoCal State Finals
April 11, 2017
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The Dos Pueblos High School Econ Challenge team, comprised of Hannah Kleidermacher (11), Christopher Lane (12), Kenyon Prater (12), and Maya Reese (11) won the SoCal State Finals for the National Economics Challenge on Monday, April 10th.
After recently qualifying for the Southern California Economics Finals by virtue of their top ten finish in an online preliminary competition, the team advanced to the SoCal State Finals, which they competed in on Monday, April 10th in Los Angeles.
“Hannah, Chris, Kenyon, and Maya demonstrated excellent teamwork, remained calm under pressure, and persevered with confidence throughout the competition,” said DP Economics teacher and team advisor Roland Lewin. “They won a hard fought victory.”
Every year the Council for Economic Education hosts the National Economics Challenge in which high school students apply their economics knowledge and work in teams. Competitions are held at the State, National Semi-Final, and National Final levels in two divisions – Adam Smith for Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and advanced students, and David Ricardo for beginners. In each competition, teams of students answer rigorous questions on microeconomics, macroeconomics, international economics, and current events.
Lewin, who has been teaching Economics since 1988, said the team is hoping to go all the way to the finals this year in New York. To achieve this goal, they will have to win at the National Semi-Finals.
DP junior Maya Reese, who was also on the team last year, reflects on her experience as a participant on the team.
“It was really fun,” Reese said. “I feel like it’s one of those real world important things that no one expects people our age to actually care about or know anything about.”
Reese also went on to explain the importance of understanding such a complex topic at a younger age.
“I think [economics] is an important thing to understand before we actually go off to college,” she said. “My parents don’t tell me anything about investing and I think that’s it’s a really easy way to make a little bit of money and to preserve your money as well. Then it puts people who don’t know anything about it at a disadvantage.”
Hannah Kleidermacher, also a DP junior, joined the team because of her interest in economics. Regarding what she takes away from economics, Kleidermacher said, “It allows you to just make better informed financial decisions.”
The team spends copious amounts of time preparing and gearing up for competition and studying economic theories in addition to what they learn in class.
“Lots of practice tests, that’s pretty much it,” Kleidermacher said on how they prepare.
Team advisor Roland Lewin has high hopes for this year’s team.
“Every year our goal is to win the State Championship, qualify for the National Finals in New York, and win the National Championship,” Lewin said. “This year’s team, composed of Maya Reese, Chris Lane, Hannah Kleidermacher, and Kenyon Prater, is fantastic. They certainly have the potential to win it all.”
After finding out about the competition in 2000, Lewin founded the team and DP has had a competing team ever since. DP’s team has won 12 States Championships out of the last 16 years. They finished fifth in the nation last year, have previously come in second in the nation, and have finished in the top eight numerous times.
“Economics is all about making decisions about allocating our scarce resources–whether it’s our personal resources, including time, or our public resources,” Lewin said. “The benefits of learning economics at a younger age is that you can start implementing the tools of economics, an economic way of thinking, to tackle life’s tough decisions early on. It’s useful even for life’s ‘easy’ decisions.”
The DP team members outscored everyone in the three rounds leading up to the Quiz Bowl. This qualified DP for the quiz bowl with the second and third place teams. Unfortunately, their lead did not transfer to the final quiz bowl round. Nevertheless, DP jumped to an early lead. The Bishop’s School from San Diego came back to take the lead, but DP responded with a rally of their own to reclaim the lead and win the championship in a very close competition.
DP now moves on to the National Semi-Finals against the state champions from around the country on April 25th. If they finish in the top four they will be invited to New York to participate in the Final Four Econ Challenge national championship. DP hopes to improve on last year’s fifth-place finish in the nation.