Economics Club qualifies for National Economics Challenge

Ryan Lee and Brennen Ho

Members of Palo Alto High School’s Economics Club virtually meet over Zoom to learn about economics and prepare for the National Economics Challenge on Tuesday. The club was founded early last year and has qualified for its first economics challenge. The club’s advisor and economics teacher Debbie Whitson stated in an email to The Paly Voice that she was proud of the progress the Economics Club has done this year. “The Economics Club has done a great job this year teaching members the basic principles of economics,” Whitson stated. “We have excellent leadership in the club and it is exciting that they are seeing the rewards of their hard work.” Photo: Rohan Suvarna

Students from Palo Alto High School’s Economics Club will compete in the National Economics Challenge state championship Tuesday after qualifying mid-April.

A well-known competition within the field of economics, the National Economics Challenge tests participants on microeconomics, macroeconomics, international economics, and current events through individual and team tests and real-life case problems. At its highest level, a panel of experts in economics asks questions in a fast-paced oral quiz bowl.

Founded during the second semester of the 2019-2020 school year, the Paly club now boasts close to 30 members. While Paly offers Advanced Placement Macroeconomics, Paly’s Economics Club allows students to gain a deeper understanding of economics, as well as hear from experts in the field.

“The overall mission of our club is just to be able to spread our knowledge of economics to any Paly students who are interested,” junior club co-President Austin Xiang said. “We just try to foster a really chill environment where people can come and learn about economics whenever they want.”

Xiang said this qualification was a nice reward for the time and dedication club members have put into the club.

“As a club, I think it is a really big step forward,” Xiang said. “We have participated in competitions in the past, but we have never gotten any significant results … but now, being able to qualify for something like this is pretty rewarding.”

For club founders Xiang and Rohan Suvarna, participation in this prestigious challenge allowed them to show their club members the vast possibilities of the economics field.

“We want to show our club members that if you do put in some work and listen along, then you can do things like this and that is pretty cool,” Xiang said.

Their weekly meetings cover a range of topics and mediums. From conceptual mini-lessons and current events presentations to guest speakers and fun games such as Kahoots, Xiang and Suvarna said they hoped to share their love for economics in a stress-free environment.