Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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NU Economics Tournament hosts seventh annual Econ Bowl for high school students across the country

David Sun/The Daily Northwestern
Bienen and Weinberg senior and NET President Steven Wilke explaining the rules of the Econ Bowl this weekend. Northwestern Economics Tournament hosted its seventh annual Econ Bowl over the weekend.

Midway through a long day of testing, high school students from across the country raced around Harris Hall’s auditorium. Bustling with energy, they played a production line game with candy prizes, aiming to demonstrate the law of diminishing marginal returns.

The Northwestern Economics Tournament, co-hosted by NU’s economics department and undergraduate students, held its seventh annual Econ Bowl over the weekend. The organizers aim to create an inclusive, engaging environment for high school students interested in economics and its applications, according to the NET website. 

“Our economics community is small,” said Phillips Exeter Academy senior Jack Gordon. “It’s great to meet a bunch of students who share our passion for economics and test our skills against them.” 

Students played in five preliminary rounds in the morning before progressing to five elimination rounds in the afternoon. 

Four teams advanced to the semifinals and the Phillips Exeter Academy A team won the grand finale. 

“The people running this event have done a great job,” said Saint Thomas Academy senior Nate Aamodt. “You can tell they care and they want to be here.”

Aamodt said his favorite part of the event was meeting with fellow competitors from all across the country — participants hailed from Chicago, New York, Virginia and even Canada. 

This year’s event was much bigger than the previous year, where only 10 teams competed in-person and 14 online — 20 teams competed in-person and 32 virtually this year. 

“It’s great that NET is growing, and I want to reach even more students,” Weinberg junior and NET Director of Operations Committee Deniz Uzun said. “But I want to ensure the club grows,  maintaining the same level of quality.”

 Uzun helped organize the event schedule and logistics. 

NET has two other committees, curriculum and communications, tasked with coming up with test questions and reaching out to local high schools respectively.

“Come the day of the event, it’s about making sure that all the little details go smoothly — checking in teams, handing out t-shirts, making sure every competitor knows where they should be,” Weinberg freshman and NET operations member Anastasia Galinski said. 

In addition to the competition itself, the operations team helped schedule a career panel with NET alumni and invited economics Profs. Mark Witte and Piotr Dworczak to speak to the students. 

Whitney M. Young Magnet High School economics teacher Lindsay Mueller said she loves teaching economics because it’s something kids are often not exposed to in high school.

This year marks Whitney M. Young Magnet High School’s first year competing in NET.

“I think (the competition) has been challenging,” Mueller said. “It’s always a great experience for students to put themselves out there, exposing themselves to new ideas and concepts that haven’t been covered in the class.” 

NET ensures there are as few barriers to entry as possible to compete, offering both in-person and online formats and no registration fee. 

Overall, advisers had high praise, calling the tournament extremely well-organized. 

“I was just talking to an advisor and they were saying this is one of the most organized, best economic tournaments (they’ve) attended,” Uzun said. “My biggest hope for NET is that we keep that level of professionalism.” 

NET was founded in 2016 to create opportunities for high school students to learn economics outside of taking AP classes.

NET members said they are excited to continue to grow their team and outreach, expanding high schoolers’ interest in economics.  

“Continuing to expand the tournament, so more teams have access to that same high-quality programming, I think is going to be awesome,” Galinski said. 

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