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Mamaroneck HS Team Selected As Semifinalists In Economics Competition

Students Noah Putnam, Sam Wertheim, Josh Girsky, Sophie Despins, and Andrew Sommer are part of the MHS team selected.
Students Noah Putnam, Sam Wertheim, Josh Girsky, Sophie Despins, and Andrew Sommer are part of the MHS team selected. Photo Credit: Contributed

MAMARONECK, N.Y. – A team of five Mamaroneck High School (MHS) students has been selected as semifinalists in the High School Fed Challenge, a multi-level competition designed to bring real world economics into the classroom.

Teams play the role of monetary policymakers by analyzing economic conditions and recommending a course for monetary policy to a panel of judges that includes New York Fed economists and other experts.

At the Federal Reserve Bank of New York last week, the team -- consisting of Noah Putnam, Sam Wertheim, Josh Girsky, Sophie Despins, and Andrew Sommer -- presented their views on the current state of the economy, future expectations and interest rate guidance.

MHS competed against about 100 other high school teams from all over New York, Northern New Jersey and Fairfield County, and is among 20 teams moving on to the semifinals.

The team of five will compete in the semifinal round of the competition (again at the Federal Reserve Bank) on April 16, the same day five or six teams will be chosen to advance and compete in the finals.

Adam Sobel, who teachers MHS’s AP Macroeconomics program (one of the largest in the state) has had teams advancing to the semifinals numerous times and twice has led teams to the finals.

“Unlike most schools, that have a Fed Challenge club, our students do this as part of the AP Macroeconomics curriculum," he said. "Instead of years of practice, our teams are only together for 10 weeks before they compete. We use the challenge as a learning tool for all of our students rather than just focusing on the competition itself."

Sobel said that makes the MHS team's success "even more special. "I believe our kids have a better understanding of the whole economy, not just what they learned in putting together their presentation," he said.

The MHS student team has been preparing endlessly for the April 16 presentation, which will be include an analysis of economic and financial conditions (as of the day of the presentation), a near-term forecast of economic, financial and international conditions of critical importance in the development of monetary policy, identification of risks to the economy that should be of special concern for monetary policymakers, and a recommendation to increase, decrease or leave unchanged the level of short-term interest rates.

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