Mt. Hebron’s Econ Team Comes Out on Top at Nationals
On April 20, 2020, Mt. Hebron’s economic team participated in the statewide Economics Challenge to qualify for the National Economics Challenge. The national challenge semi-final was held on May 13 and the final took place May 16 through May 18.
There are two division levels: David Ricardo (the lower division) and Adam Smith (the upper division). The David Ricardo team consisted of Keith Lee, Maiike Swaters, Sam Lieman and Saniya Mahate. The Adam Smith team consisted of Lorelei Loraine, Wyatt Currie, Sudarsan Sundar and Nicholas Synder.
Each group competed against teams from around the country to rank high enough to move on to the national competition. The teams originate from public and private high schools across the U.S.
Usually, the students would meet to practice and review for the tests after school. Due to COVID-19, Mt. Hebron’s students were not able to do so this year.
“We prepare as a team by taking lots of practice tests as well as mock quiz bowls and critical thinking rounds,” said senior Wyatt Currie. Quiz bowl is a series of questions asked by the judges which the teams earn points for. Each team has a set amount of time to speak to their teammates before hitting the buzzer to answer the question. If the team answers a question incorrectly, the other team has a chance to answer.
The state finals were online tests that the students took. These tests were then scored and the teams were given placements. Mt. Hebron’s outstanding Adam Smith team received a perfect team score. Both teams advanced to the semi-finals.
“States is always really easy compared to the national semifinals and finals, so although we studied nobody was too worried about it,” said senior Lorelei Loraine.
On May 14, the Mt. Hebron teams competed in the semi-finals. The test included 45 questions in 45 minutes. Similarly to the new format for states, the semi-finals were taken online due to COVID-19.
Both David Ricardo and Adam Smith teams advanced to nationals on May 16, which took place through Zoom. Like previous years, it begins with a critical thinking round where the teams answer questions in a longer format. The top six teams from the semi-finals move on to this round. Along with the critical thinking round comes a team PowerPoint project where they are encouraged to use graphs and visual examples.
“Normally we would meet up and draw our graphs and give the presentation in person, but this year it will be over Zoom. The judges will join our Zoom room, watch our presentation and ask us questions,” said Loraine.
Two other teams advanced to the final quiz bowl against Mt. Hebron: Pioneer High School from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Conestoga High School from Berwyn, Pennsylvania.
Mt. Hebron’s two teams placed first at the national championship and won $1000 in prize money. They participated in the quiz bowl round over Zoom in front of a panel of judges.
This would be the second year in a row that Mt. Hebron has won the national championship. No other team in the 20-year history of the championship has won in both divisions. The David Ricardo division dominated the quiz bowl round and defeated the competition. The Adam Smith division came down to a final question, and only Mt. Hebron got the correct answer.
Congratulations to the winners from Mt. Hebron!
Lorelai Loraine, Wyatt Currie, Nick Snyder, Sudharsan Sundar, Keith Lee, Saniya Mahate, Maiike Swaters, and Sam Lieman.