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Maryland Team Clinches the National Economics Challenge

Challenge Participation Climbs, Spotlighting the Value of Economic Education

New York, N.Y. (May 25, 2021) – For the third consecutive year, Mount Hebron High School from Ellicott City, Md., outscored student teams from around the United States to win both divisions of the 21st Annual National Economics Challenge (NEC) sponsored by the Council for Economic Education (CEE).

The school emerged atop the 375 schools that participated. In all, more than 10,000 students competed nationwide in the NEC, the country’s only economics competition for high school students. The Challenge was held entirely online due to COVID-19.

“It’s encouraging to see the benefits of economic education shining so brightly in all of our participants, with educators, parents and students truly valuing economic thinking,” said Nan J. Morrison, CEE’s president and CEO. “The caliber of students never ceases to amaze me, and the Mount Hebron High School team from Ellicott City, Md., is once again a further testament to this. We applaud them and all who participated in the challenge and in high school economics courses.”

CEE’s NEC builds critical thinkers and tomorrow’s leaders, Morrison added. The competition recognizes exceptional high school students for their knowledge of economic principles and their ability to apply problem-solving and critical-thinking skills to real-world events.

Students advance from NEC state level competitions to a final quiz bowl and critical thinking presentation on an economic issue and problem by competing in one of two divisions depending on their level of experience. The Adam Smith division is for advanced placement, baccalaureate and honors students as well as any returning competitors. The David Ricardo division is for students participating in the NEC for the first time and who have taken no more than one economics course. The winning Mount Hebron school fielded teams in both.

The Challenge also included an international round featuring a quiz bowl between the top U.S teams and China’s winners from CEE’s NEC: International managed by its exclusive partner in China, SKT Education. Four thousand Chinese students participated in the Challenge in China, with 192 advancing to the worldwide finals. Mount Hebron High School also won the international quiz bowl in both the David Ricardo and Adam Smith divisions competing against Xi’an Gaoxin No.1 High School-International Course Center and Shanghai Starriver Bilingual School.

Steve Liesman, senior economics reporter for CNBC, emceed the U.S. competition, and Karen Finerman, chief executive officer of Metropolitan Capital Advisors and panelist on CNBC’s Fast Money, hosted the China competition.

More details on the National Economics Challenge can be found on CEE’s Twitter page and by searching the hashtag #EconChallenge or visiting

Note to editors: A list of all U.S. teams that participated in the Challenge finals is available below.

About the Council for Economic Education and the National Economics Challenge:

The Council for Economic Education’s mission is to teach K-12 students about economics and personal finance so that they can make better decisions for themselves, their families and their communities. We carry out our mission by providing resources and training to K-12 educators and have done so for 70 years. Nearly 2/3 of the teachers we reach in person are in low- and moderate-income schools.

Media contacts:

Kate Alexander, (201) 638-3946

Lisa Fels Davitt, (973) 886-1917

State champion teams in the 21st Annual National Economics Challenge finals May 22-24, 2021.


· BASIS Scottsdale (Scottsdale, Ariz.)

· Chattahoochee High School (Johns Creek, Ga.)

· Conestoga High School (Berwyn, Pa.)

· Dublin High School (Dublin, Calif.)

· ‘Iolani School (Honolulu, Hawaii)

· Mount Hebron High School (Ellicott City, Md.)


· Half Hollow Hills High School East (Dix Hills, N.Y.)

· Irvington High School (Fremont, Calif.)

· Lexington High School (Lexington, Mass.)

· Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School (Richmond, Va.)

· Mount Hebron High School (Ellicott City, Md.)

· Plano West Senior High School (Plano, Texas)