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The Ledger
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Economic Education Newsletter

Fall 2001

All
Net:
Economics Resources
on the Web

The Ledger
Editor
Bob Jabaily

Contributing Writers
Scott Guild
Michael Stewart
Rob Wedge

Graphic Designer
Heidi Furse

Production Coordinator
Ann Eggleston

The Ledger is published three
times a year as a public service
by the Federal Reserve Bank of
Boston. The views expressed
in The Ledger are not necessarily those of the Federal
Reserve Bank of Boston or the
Federal Reserve System.
Copies of The Ledger may be
obtained free of charge by
writing:
Publications
Public and Community
Affairs Department
Federal Reserve Bank
of Boston
P. O. Box 2076
Boston, MA 02106-2076

All
Net:
Economics Resources
on the Web
They’re out there! Maybe you know some of them, but no one knows them all.
This special issue of The Ledger highlights web sites for teachers, students, and anyone
else interested in economics. In making our selections, we used a very broad definition
of “economics.” Our primary constraint was space.
Some of our choices may seem like a stretch; others are more conventional. But
together they reflect our belief that economics can help people gain a better understanding of how the world works.

3 CAVEAT EMPTOR:

Consumer Education/Financial Literacy
4 COOL CASH:

Coins and Currency
5 BY THE NUMBERS:

Economic Data
6 BACK IN THE DAY:

Economic History

10 SPANNING THE FED:

Federal Reserve Resources

or calling:
(617) 973-3452

12 NEWS FLASH:
Internet:
www.bos.frb.org

Media Sites

e-mail:
robert.jabaily@bos.frb.org

13 THE BIG PICTURE:

Overviews and Lesson Plans
14 EXTRACURRICULARS:

Student Competitions

revised 7/30/02

2

Caveat Emptor:

Consumer Education/Financial Literacy
The Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy
http://www.jumpstartcoalition.org

P

eople at the Jump$tart Coalition believe personal finance management is a fundamental life skill that needs to be taught. "We want students to know the how-to's of person-

al finance — how to manage a household budget, how to plan for retirement, and how a
mortgage works," says H. Randy Lively, a member of Jump$tart's board of directors. "We
want them to know how to establish a good credit history, cover their insurance needs, and
balance a checkbook. In short, we want them to be prepared for the everyday financial realities that all of us face as adults."
The Jump$tart web site has lots of links to related sites and an online clearinghouse of
resources and materials. There's also an interactive "Reality Check." Students answer a
few basic questions on the kind of lifestyle they want, and the Reality Check lets them
know the amount of income, the type of job, and the level of education they'll need. It's fun,
in the same way that going to a scary movie is fun.

The Consumer Action Web Site
http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/crh/respref.htm
If you're having a consumer problem, or want to avoid
one, this is the site to visit. The online version of Consumer
Action Handbook, published by the Federal Consumer
Information Center, has advice and consumer tips on everything from avoiding consumer and investment fraud to
choosing and using credit cards wisely. The site also has a
Consumer Assistance Directory with thousands of names,
addresses, telephone numbers, web site listings, and e-mail
addresses for corporations, consumer organizations, trade
associations, and more.

For Savings Bond Investors
http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/sav/savinvst.htm
Is this truly a consumer education/financial literacy site?
Maybe not, but at some point in our lives many of us receive
savings bonds as gifts. And sooner or later, we have questions about them: How much is my bond worth? What happens if I lose a bond? Do I have to pay taxes when I cash a
bond? The answers to these questions and many others are
on this easy-to-use site.
3

Cool Cash:

Coins and Currency
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing

The United States Mint

http://www.bep.treas.gov

http://www.usmint.gov

You’re digging in the backyard when your
shovel pushes into a bundle of $20s that someone buried long ago. You reach to pick them
up, but — oh no! — the ancient bills begin to
decompose in your hands. Is there any way to
salvage them, or are they a total loss? The
answer to this question, and many others, is on
the Bureau of Engraving and Printing web site
— everything from replacing a piece of damaged currency to purchasing a sheet of uncut
two-dollar bills.
The Facts & Trivia section is a bonanza
for trivia lovers. Here’s a sampling of what
you can learn:

Ever wonder why some coins have grooves on the edges
and others don’t? The United States Mint web site will tell
you almost everything you want to know about the design,
production, and circulation of American coins. Collectors
can learn about the 50 State Quarters Program, the Golden
Dollar, American Eagle coins, proof sets, and commemoratives. There’s even a kids section for novice numismatists.

• How long would it take to spend 10 billion
$1 notes at a rate of one per second?

Virtual Tour of the Richmond Fed Currency Museum
http://neo.rich.frb.org/research/econed/museum
The Richmond Fed Currency Museum’s virtual tour
begins with primitive money and ends with modern
American coins and currency. Along the way, there is an
opportunity to learn about barter in colonial America, early
American banking, late-nineteenth-century bank panics, the
creation of the Federal Reserve System, and a number of
intervening events.

ANSWER: 317 years

The San Francisco Fed American Currency Exhibit
• What is the average life of a $100 note?
ANSWER: 9 years (the $1 note lasts an
average of 18 months)
• What is the origin of the “$” sign?
ANSWER: Check out the site and find out
for yourself. It’s well-designed, fun, and
informative.

http://www.frbsf.org/currency/index.html
The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s online
American Currency Exhibit offers cyber visitors two tour
options:
(1) the Tour Showcase of Bills highlights eye-catching
images from the Bank’s currency collection, and
(2) the Tour Exhibit by Era traces the evolution of
American currency and creates a historical context for the
various pieces of paper money.

Money - Past, Present & Future
http://www.ex.ac.uk/~RDavies/arian/money.html
A fascinating survey of monetary history, this site will
appeal to researchers and generalists. Highlights include:
• How Much Did Things Cost in Roman Times?
• English Consumer Prices, 1264-1998
• Dollar-Pound Exchange Rates,1800-1997
• U.S. Inflation Calculator, 1800-1999
• Financial Scandals
• Money in Fiction from Chaucer to
the Present

4

By the Numbers:
Economic Data
The World Bank
http://www.worldbank.org/html/schools/

W

$

Bureau of Labor Statistics
http://www.bls.gov

6

3

hat kind of web site allows you to explore world climate change while looking
up recipes for Latin American and Caribbean foods? The answer may surprise
you: the World Bank. No ordinary bank, the World Bank is actually an international development organization owned by more than 180 member countries, rich
and poor. Its role is to reduce poverty by providing development assistance to its
poorer members — often called “developing” countries — and to countries whose
economies are in transition. The loans are intended to increase economic productivity and improve the standard of living in these countries.
Research and education are important components of the World Bank’s mission.
Its staff members sort through a lot of data before making a loan, and much of that
information has found its way onto a web site the Bank has developed for students
and teachers. The site contains a variety of valuable information that can be used
both in and out of the classroom.
The site is easy to use. The data sets range from international trade to water
and sanitation. Because there is so much information on such a wide variety of topics, you have the option to explore the data yourself or use one of a variety of tools
that format the data into usable chunks. In fact, there is an entire set of learning
modules that focus on sustainable economic development. The site also provides a
global forum that allows high schools from around the world to interact with each
other and discuss issues like technology in the classroom. This is a great resource
for students working on social studies projects and for social studies teachers seeking a global perspective.

Have you ever wondered what it would be
like to work in television or how much money a
stockbroker makes? The answers to these questions along with average hourly earnings information, the employment cost index, the current
U.S. unemployment rate, and much more can be
found at http://www.bls.gov. Highlights include:
Economy at a Glance; How Much People Earn;
and an online edition of the Monthly Labor
Review, which features scholarly, but readable,
articles on economics, business trends, and
labor-management relations.

White House Economics Statistics Briefing Room
http://www.whitehouse.gov/fsbr/esbr.html
The Economics Statistics Briefing Room is furnished with lots of quality economic data. The
Executive Branch has taken some of the legwork
out of economic research by giving users access to
statistics on employment, income, world trade,
money, output, prices, production, and transportation — all in one place and in a format that’s easy
to use.

Bureau of the Census

http://www.census.gov

4

5

Have you ever moved to a new place and
wondered if there would be any kids your age?
How does your new town or state compare to
your old one — is it bigger, smaller, or maybe
exactly the same? Maybe you never thought of
the Census as a useful classroom tool, but it contains a lot of practical information that can help
you answer questions like these. Visit www.census.gov to discover where you fit in. (The “For
Teachers” section has free downloads of teaching
and reference materials.)

5

Back in the Day:
Economic History

Library of Congress/American Memory Collection
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amhome.html
Don't miss this site! At first glance it
might seem to be more about history than
economics, but the more you look at it the
more economics you see:
•America from the Great Depression to
World War II features some of the most
compelling photographs ever made. Faces
of 1930s America look at us from across the
years and tell the story of ordinary people
trying to cope with economic hard times.
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/fsahtml/
fahome.html
•The Panoramic Map Collection takes
you on an aerial tour of Victorian-era cities
and towns with a fascinating bird's eye perspective on urban and industrial develop6

ment in post-Civil War America. The level of
detail in some of the maps is exquisite, and
with the aid of modern technology (the Mr.
Sid online viewing tool) you can even zoom in
on a particular street.http://memory.loc
.gov/ammem/pmhtml/panhome.html
•The Emergence of Advertising in America
brings together "over 9,000 images that illustrate the rise of consumer culture" and the
growth of advertising. There is also a link to
the Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising &
Marketing at Duke University, which houses
all the original images.http://memory.
loc.gov/ammem/award98/ncdhtml/
eaahome.html

1

State and Local Historical
Societies and Archives
Some of the best economic history
resources are right in your own backyard.
State and local historical societies have
extensive archives that document the economic evolution of our communities. And
now the Internet gives us the capability to
check out the resources in everyone else’s
backyard, too. Here are two good examples of
what’s out there:

1. Connecticut History Online
http://www.cthistoryonline.org
Connecticut History Online is a collaborative effort of the Connecticut Historical
Society, the Thomas J. Dodd Research
Center at the University of Connecticut, and
Mystic Seaport Museum. The site’s database
has more than 5,800 images that chronicle
Connecticut life from the beginning of the
nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth. And the site’s links provide a virtual
treasure map for researchers. The Dodd
Center, for example, features a guide to the
records of more than 35 Connecticut businesses, including companies that produced
clocks, cutlery, hats, machine tools, organ
pipes, textiles, toiletries, tobacco, and bathroom fixtures.

2

LEFT

Migrant Mother
California, 1936
Dorothea Lange, photographer
Library of Congress USZ62-95653

3
Bridgeport, Connecticut. 1875
Library of Congress
Panoramic Map Collection
7

2. Art of the Draw
http://www.shsw.wisc.edu/artofthedraw/in
dex.html
Art of the Draw is definitely worth a look.
The State Historical Society of Wisconsin has
put together an online exhibit of 50 advertising posters from its McCormick-International
Harvester Collection. The posters, which
date from 1849 to the 1980s are not only gorgeous to look at, but they also "provide physical evidence of the intentions, perspective,
values, and tastes of the people who made
and used them."

Making of America
http://www.hti.umich.edu/m/moa.new/
http://moa.cit.cornell.edu/moa/
Making of America, a collaborative effort
between the University of Michigan and
Cornell University, is a must for anyone
doing research on nineteenth century
American life. The online digital library
offers free electronic access to more than
9,000 volumes of nineteenth century primary
sources (nearly 2.5 million pages, plus an
additional 277,000 pages of online journal
holdings). Each work was selected for the
collection based on its capacity to demonstrate "what it was like to be an American at
that time." Two examples of what you'll find:
•Twenty-One Years in the Boston Stock
Market, or Fluctuation Therein from January
1, 1835, to January 1, 1856 by Joseph G.
Martin, Commission Stock Broker — a brief
but informative look at the workings of nineteenth-century American financial industry.
•Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by
Harriet (Brent) Jacobs — a compelling memoir
that contains a number of economic insights.

Women, Enterprise and Society
http://www.library.hbs.edu/hc/wes/
Economic history used to be all about guys
— robber barons and captains of industry.
Women were active participants in the marketplace, but hardly anyone was telling their
story. Women, Enterprise, and Society goes a
long way toward setting the record straight
by identifying business records, letters,
diaries, and illustrated materials that “attest
to historic female entrepreneurship, and offer
a window on the lives of working women.”
Eventually, the site’s creators — the “Women
in Business Project” at Harvard Business
School’s Baker Library — hope to put most of
their archived material online, and they are
organizing a physical exhibit to run at the

8

Baker Library from January through May 2002.

EH.Net - Economic History Services
http://www.eh.net
EH.Net was created in 1993 to assist economists, historians, and other social scientists through the use of electronic
communication and information technology. The project
currently operates servers in economic history and the history of economics. It also provides free electronic discussion
lists to highlight resources and promote communication
among scholars and students in business history, economic
history, and related areas. Another useful feature — How
Much is That? — allows users to calculate the relative purchasing power of the U. S. dollar and the British pound from
the seventeenth century to the present and to look at inflation rates for the United States and Great Britain during
the same period. Also worth looking at is the book review
section, which provides readers with the latest on what’s
current and an archive of past works. The reviews are
scholarly but quite readable.

Massachusetts Studies Project: Industrial History
http://k12s.phast.umass.edu/~masag/industrial_history.html
Any web site that can figure out a credible way to connect
“industrial history” and “Lizzie Borden” deserves a look. The
Massachusetts Studies Project developed this site as a way to
help teachers and students tackle the Commonwealth’s curriculum frameworks for social studies and economics. But you
don’t have to be from Massachusetts to benefit from the material, nor do you even need to be a student. There’s lots of interesting stuff here, including:
• a teachers guide;
• an industrial history bibliography; and
• a link to Lizzie Borden and Fall River, a University of
Massachusetts industrial history course adapted for use in
grades 7 to 12.
Particularly useful are the online primary source links
included in the industrial history bibliography. Be sure to
check out the Kids Info. Link on immigration and the
Industrial Revolution:
www.kidinfo.com/American_History/Industrial_Revolution.html

Museum of American Financial History
http://www.financialhistory.org
Two very good reasons for visiting this web site:
1. The online edition of Financial History, the Museum’s
membership magazine, carries an interesting mix of articles
— everything from a history of the American Bank Note
Company to the financing of early baseball teams.
2. You can view online highlights of the Museum’s
exhibits — the history of financial journalism, the Erie
Canal, financing the Civil War, the artistry of African currency, J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and more.

4
1

2
5
1

At the Bus Station
Durham, North Carolina. 1940
Jack Delano, photographer
LC-USF33-20522-M2

2

Roadside Stand
Birmingham, Alabama. 1936
Walker Evans, photographer
LC-USF342-8253-A

3

Boys on Easter Morning
Chicago, Illinois. 1944
Russell Lee, photographer
LC-USF34-38825-D

4

Floyd Burroughs
Hale County, Alabama. 1935 or 1936
Walker Evans, photographer
LC-USF342-8138-A

5

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Lyman
Windsor Locks, Connecticut. 1940
Jack Delano, photographer
LC-USF-41573-D

3

Images from the Library of Congress,
Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Collection.
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/fsowhome.html

9

Spanning the Fed:
Federal Reserve Resources
Fed 101
http://www.federalreserveeducation.org
There was a time when learning about the Federal Reserve was a lot like
eating your vegetables — something you did because you thought it was good
for you. But times have changed. A new educational web site, Fed 101,
makes learning about the Fed easier and, yes, more appealing. (Vegetables
are enjoying new popularity, too, but we can’t take credit for that.)
Fed 101 covers five main topic areas: history, structure, monetary policy,
banking supervision, and financial services. Here are some of the highlights:
• Check Mystery looks at where your checks go after you sign them.
• Go Back in Time covers the evolution of U. S. central banking.
• Where’s the Money? focuses on how the Fed conducts monetary policy.
• Examiner for a Day gives you an opportunity to examine a virtual bank.
• Fed Clue is a chance to test your knowledge of the Federal Reserve
System.
• Fed President Interviews is just what it sounds like, interviews with
the presidents of the 12 Reserve Banks.

Other Federal Reserve Resources
The 12 Federal Reserve Banks and the Board of Governors offer a wealth of
economic education materials on the web. Many of the resources were listed in
the Fall 1997 issue of The Ledger, but a few new ones have come online since
then, and some of the Bank URLs have changed. Here’s an update.

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
http://www.frbatlanta.org
• Dollars and Cents: Fundamental Facts about U.S. Money. An
old favorite is now online. (Atlanta Fed homepage > Publications> Books
and Brochures)

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
http://www.bos.frb.org
• Peanuts & Crackerjacks, an educational unit on the economics of pro
sports, is designed for students in grades 8 to 12. (Much of the material is easily adapted for use in grades 5, 6, and 7.) Three main pieces cover all the bases:
(1) an interactive baseball simulation that gives you a chance to show what you
know about economics and sports trivia; (2) The Sports Page, which has the
scoop on everything from supply and demand to salary caps; and (3) an online
teachers guide with more than 50 activities and discussion exercises. (Boston
Fed homepage > Education Resources > On-line Learning )

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
http://www.dallasfed.org
• Building Wealth: A Beginner’s Guide to Securing Your
Financial Future helps individuals and families develop a plan for building
personal wealth. Available online in PDF, it presents an overview of personal
wealth-building strategies that includes setting financial goals, seeking guid10

BOSTO
KANSAS CITY

ance, budgeting, saving and investing, and
managing debt. There is also an interactive
version and a Wealth-Building Resource
Guide. (Dallas Fed homepage > click on
Building Wealth icon)
• Annual Report Archive. Annual
reports are coffee table documents. More
often than not, we leaf through the pictures
without ever reading a word of the prose.
But the Dallas Fed’s annual report is an
exception. You might not always agree with
the point of view, but the essays are well
written and thought-provoking. (And, yes,
the graphics are attractive.) The theme for
2000 was “Have a Nice Day! The American
Journey to Better Working Conditions.” The
online archive goes back to 1992. (Dallas Fed
homepage > Publications > Annual Reports)

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
http://www.federalreserve.gov

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
http://www.chicagofed.org

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
http://www.clev.frb.org

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
http://www.kc.frb.org

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
http://www.minneapolisfed.org

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
http://www.phil.frb.org

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
http://www.rich.frb.org

http://www.ny.frb.org

Economic Education Newsletters
• Public Information Catalog. The
New York Fed has created a comprehensive
guide and online ordering facility for all publications and materials available from the
Federal Reserve System. Most items are free
of charge, and many are available online in
PDF files to view or download. (New York
Fed homepage > Publications)

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
http://www.stls.frb.org
• In Plain English: Making Sense of
the Federal Reserve delivers exactly what
it promises. It is easy to read, the graphics
are fun, and when you’re finished you’ll be
able to explain the Federal Reserve to someone else — in plain English. (St. Louis Fed
homepage > Publications)

Four Federal Reserve Banks publish economic education
newsletters geared primarily to teachers and librarians. If
you’re reading this, you already know about one of them.
Here, in alphabetical order, are the other three:
Equilibria
Subscriptions
Public Affairs Department
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
P.O. Box 27622
Richmond, VA 23261
Phone: (804) 697-8109
E-mail: Equilibria@rich.frb.org
Inside the Vault
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
P.O. Box 442
St. Louis, MO 63166
Phone: (314) 444-8421

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
http://www.frbsf.org
• Ask Dr. Econ. Ever wonder how the
Federal Reserve affects interest rates or what
economists mean when they talk about things
like natural unemployment? Dr. Econ has the
answers. Each month, a San Francisco Fed
economist answers a new question. There’s an
archive of past answers, and an online form lets
you submit a question of your own. (San
Francisco Fed homepage > Educational
Resources > Ask Dr. Econ)

On Reserve
Public Information Center
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
P.O. Box 834
Chicago, IL 60690
Phone: (312) 322-5111
All the newsletters are free, and if you’re are not on their
mailing lists, you ought to be.

N CLEVELAND NEW YORK MINNEAPOLIS ST LOUIS PHILADELPHIA
RICHMOND DALLAS CHICAGO SAN FRANCISCO WASHINGTON, DC

11

News Flash:
Media Sites

The First Measured Century surveys
the extraordinary changes that
took place in American life
between 1900 and 2000.

PBS Online
http://www.pbs.org
If you still think public television is all nature
shows and British imports, you ought to visit PBS
Online. Go to the “Explore by Subject” pull-down
menu on the PBS home page, click on “Business &
Finance,” and you’ll be ready to explore more than
three dozen public television programs that are
rich in economic content. And many are supplemented by a teachers guide or resources listing.
Two highlights: “The First Measured Century”
and “A Biography of America.”

The First Measured Century
http://www.pbs.org/fmc
The twentieth century was the first to produce an extensive statistical record, and The
First Measured Century uses that record to survey the extraordinary changes that took place in
American life between 1900 and 2000. A television program, companion book, and web site tell
“the story of America by the numbers through
the eyes of those who did the measuring and
interpreting.” All three provide informative,
attractive charts that map statistical trends and
social changes in fifteen categories: population,
work, education, family, living arrangements,
religion, active leisure, health, money, politics,
government, crime, transportation, business, and
communications. The web site also features an
online teachers guide. And for those with time
and patience, there’s a bonus: a free download of
the book.

A Biography of America
http://www.learner.org/biographyofamerica/
A Biography of America is a 26-part video
series and telecourse designed to “pique students’ interest and encourage them to think criticontinued on page 16

12

The Big Picture:

Overviews and Lesson Plans
EconSources
http://www.EconSources.com
Professor Gary Clayton developed EconSources as “a portal to
the best economic information on the web.” In the process, he succeeded in creating a site that embodies all the “old-time” Internet
virtues. EconSources is informative, easy to navigate, and noncommercial. (Clayton maintains the site out of his own pocket and
has steadfastly resisted the temptation to accept advertising.)
EconSources may not be the glitziest site on the web, but it’s
among of the most useful. Its home page directs you to 13 main categories: economic indicators, global economic data, federal agencies, and much more. The links under each category then take you
to a specific piece of information or resource — average hourly earnings, gross domestic product, the Central Intelligence Agency’s
World Factbook — or to the home page of a particular organization
— the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Federal Reserve, the
Bank of Italy. It’s a very useful site. Don’t miss it!

National Council on Economic Education
http://www.ncee.net/
The National Council on Economic Education — a nonprofit partnership of leaders in education, business, and labor — has been working since 1949 to foster economic education. Its teacher-training affiliate, EconomicsAmerica, provides training and support to more than
120,000 teachers a year through a nationwide network of universitybased education centers and state councils. And its web site is an
essential resource for anyone interested in economic education.
There is an online archive of economics lessons on everything from
basic concepts such as productivity to the economics of hosting the
Winter Olympics. Many of the state economic education councils also
do some pretty interesting things on their own web sites. For example, the Georgia Council on Economic Education helped develop The
Georgia Economic History Project, which is specific to Georgia but can
serve as model for others who want to explore the economic history of
their own states.
(Georgia Economic History Project,
http://www.gcee.org/projects/history.htm)

EcEdWeb: Resources for Teachers K-12
http://ecedweb.unomaha.edu/
EcEdWeb’s stated mission is “to provide support for economic education in
all forms and at all levels.” And it succeeds. Its links to economics resources
for K-12 teachers may be among the
most extensive on the Internet. Other
highlights include a listing of economics
resources for university and college
teaching and a guide to using the
Internet to teach economics.

AmosWEB
http://www.amosweb.com
If AmosWEB is any indication,
Orley M. Amos, Jr., isn’t one to take
himself too seriously. The Oklahoma
State University economics professor
has created a site that’s effective,
engaging, and, well. . . fun.
Highlights include:
• Ask Mr. ECONOMY, which
Amos describes as “the economic
equivalent of a dysfunctional Dear
Abby;”
• Gloss*arama, a database of
700 economic concepts and terms;
and
• Testing System, which gives
users an opportunity to test their
skill with multiple-choice quizzes on
36 different topics.

Junior Achievement
http://www.ja.org
Junior Achievement began in 1919
as a collection of small after-school
business clubs in Springfield,
Massachusetts. Today more than
150,000 JA volunteers work with
approximately 4 million students
nationwide “to ensure that every child
in America has a fundamental understanding of the free enterprise system.” Junior Achievement’s web site
carries a summary of all the JA programs for students in grades K-12.
continued on page 16

13

Extracurriculars:
Student Competitions

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is actively involved
in three national competitions for students: Economics
Challenge, Fed Challenge, and LifeSmarts.

Economics Challenge
http://www.bos.frb.org > Education Resources > Competitions
The National Council on Economic Education and the
Goldman Sachs Foundation have teamed up in an effort to
boost the number of students taking advanced placement
economics courses and improve overall performance on the
AP economics test. An integral part of this effort is
Economics Challenge, a nationwide student competition that
drew 345 teams from 22 states in 2001.
At the regional level, students took multiple choice
exams — as individuals and teams — in microeconomics,
macroeconomics, and a potpourri category that included
questions in current events, international economic issues,
and economic history. Top-scoring teams in each region then
advanced to a winner-take-all quiz bowl competition to
determine which teams would advance to the national finals
in New York. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, in conjunction with Councils on Economic Education from all six
New England states, coordinated and hosted the Eastern
Regional Finals. The first-place team in that round —
Choate Rosemary Hall, of Wallingford, Connecticut — went
on to win the national championship. For more information
on Economics Challenge, contact Scott Guild at the Federal
Reserve Bank of Boston, (617) 973-3639; John Morton at the
National Council on Economic Education, (480) 368-8020; or
the Council on Economic Education in your state.

Fed Challenge
http://www.bos.frb.org > Education Resources > Competitions
Fed Challenge is a national economic education competition for teams of high school students who study real U.S.

14

economic conditions and then present their
analyses and recommendations for interest
rate policy. The students’ work mirrors the
work of the Federal Reserve System’s Open
Market Committee.
In the First Federal Reserve District, Fed
Challenge drew 29 teams from all six New
England states. Preliminary round winners
advanced to a regional competition held at
the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston on April
3, 2001. The regional winner, Choate
Rosemary Hall, made a fine showing at the
national championship in Washington, DC.
For more information on Fed Challenge, contact Scott Guild at (617) 973-3639.

LifeSmarts
http://www.lifesmarts.org
LifeSmarts, a consumer education competition for teens
in grades 9 to 12, is sponsored by the National Consumers
League. Its stated aim is to cover “information that consumers need to know to function in today’s and tomorrow’s
complex marketplace.” Competition questions focus on five
main areas of consumer knowledge:
• personal finance
• health and safety
• environment
• technology
• consumer rights and responsibilities.
In 2001, students from 20 Massachusetts
schools took part in LifeSmarts. Contestants
first competed online for a chance to be in the
state finals at the Federal Reserve Bank of
Boston on February 28. The team from
Medfield High School won the Massachusetts
championship and went on to compete in the
regional and national LifeSmarts finals. For
more information, be sure to check out
LifeSmarts at www.lifesmarts.org or, in
Massachusetts, contact Sharon St. Louis,
Massachusetts Coordinator for LifeSmarts,
at (617) 973-3262.

Choate Rosemary Hall
First District Champions
Fed Challenge 2001
Receiving congratulations from
Boston Fed President Cathy Minehan

Medfield High School
Massachusetts Champions
LifeSmarts 2001

15

News Flash:
Media Sites

continued from page 12

cally about the forces that have shaped
America.” There is a charge for the videocassettes and the telecourse license, but the web
site provides a full (and free) transcript for
each of the 26 segments along with interactive maps, timelines, and links to primary
and secondary source materials. Note: Don’t
be put off by the segment titles. They may
not sound exciting, but the articles are exceptionally readable. And many — The Rise of
Capitalism, Industrial Supremacy, Capital
and Labor — are rich in economic content.

Current Conditions
Bloomberg News Service

The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition
http://wsjclassroomedition.com/
The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition web site culls
articles from the newsstand edition and adapts them for
classroom use. The mix includes pieces on entertainment,
consumer electronics, fashion, the Internet, college admissions, and a variety of other topics geared to teen readers.
There’s also a special section for teachers and a featured
Site of the Day. The writing is as good as you’d expect, and
the graphics are eye-catching.

The Big Picture:

Overviews and Lesson Plans
continued from page 13

http://www.bloomberg.com

CNNmoney

Foundation for Teaching Economics
http://www.fte.org

http://money.cnn.com
Bloomberg and CNNmoney deliver up-tothe-minute business and financial news complemented by a changing mix of articles on
personal finance issues — managing a personal investment portfolio, planning for
retirement, paying for college, buying a
house, and other good stuff.

New York Times Glossary of Financial and Business
Terms
http://www.nytimes.com/library/financial/
glossary/bfglosa.htm
Put away your secret decoder ring. The
New York Times online glossary has more
than 2500 entries to help you decipher the
business and financial news — everything
from “abandonment option” to “zero-sum
game.” Compiled by Duke University
Professor Campbell R. Harvey, the definitions are clear, concise, and conveniently
cross-referenced with hotlinks.

When the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE)
began working with teachers and students in 1975, the
Internet was little more than a vision. Today, it’s an indispensable tool in helping FTE “to promote excellence in economic education.”
The FTE Web site features online lesson plans, simulations, and a section on using the Internet to teach economics. There is also information on FTE’s free summer programs for teachers and high school students. Two of the
most popular programs are:
• Economics for Leaders — One-week residential programs where teachers learn how to use interactive
approaches to teach economics and students are introduced
to economics and leadership, and;
• Economic Forces in American History — Six-day residential, cross-curricular programs that show teachers how
to integrate economics into American history courses.

would you be without your cell phone, your Internet connection, your
Next Issue: Where
CD player, your DVD player, and your online trading account? You’d be in
the early 1980s, that’s where. Our next issue looks at the economic and technological changes
that have occurred since 1983. Why did we choose 1983? Read our next issue and find out.