AP Economics team wins big in Econ Challenge


Courtesy of Mr. Craig Medico

Seniors Danielle Elkins, Michael Nachman, Rob Konoff, Dylan Langone won first place at the National Economics Challenge.

Aaron Gindi, Staff Writer

Over the past six years, Schreiber has sent teams to compete in the National Economics Challenge, and in their first year, 2012, they took home the state title.  This year, two of Schreiber’s teams qualified for the New York State Finals; both teams succeeded tremendously, and one, by becoming state champion, earned the right to represent New York State in the national semifinals.

The road to the competition started in late January when Mr. Craig Medico, economics teacher and Econ Challenge overseer, invited students to participate and grouped them into teams of four.  This year, six Schreiber teams competed in the initial qualifying round, which consisted of an online test administered in mid-March.  This test, taken independently, incorporated many areas of economics.  When the dust had settled, two of Schreiber’s six teams qualified for the state championship.

“Even though my team did not qualify for the next round, participating was still an honor and a pleasure,” said senior Maria Kogan.

Overall, eight teams competed in New York State Finals.  Unlike the previous phase of the competition, this one was in person and held at the American Museum of Finance, in New York City, on April 1.

The first part of the competition consisted of three tests about different sections of economics: microeconomics, macroeconomics, and international economics plus current events.  The first two tests were done individually and summed up to determine the team score, while the final test was done as a group.  Once all of the tests were scored, each team’s overall score was determined and they were ranked.  The top two advanced to a quiz bowl style final.

This was the end of the day for one of the Schreiber teams, consisting of seniors Rhys Jackson, David Kaminsky, Katherine Melkonian, and Matthew Wilson, though they still finished in fourth place.

“I was disappointed that my team didn’t advance, but due to a rule that a school can only have one team in the final round, we couldn’t have gone on anyway,” said Wilson.

The final round pitted Schreiber’s remaining team, composed of seniors Danielle Elkins, Rob Konoff, Dylan Langone, and Michael Nachman, against Stuyvesant’s A Team.  Schreiber was the favorite, ranking first due to a strong showing in the earlier rounds, but in the final round, their lead meant nothing; both teams started on equal footing.

“It is unfortunate that we got a clean slate going into the final round, losing our lead from the earlier rounds, but other than that I thought it was very fair,” said Konoff.

A total of twenty questions were asked to both teams, and each question was answered by whichever individual pressed on their buzzer first.  They had only fifteen seconds to consult with their teammates before their answer.  By the end, Schreiber had overcome scorekeeping incidents to emerge victorious by three points.

“I’m really proud of our victory.  Michael was very quick on the buzzer, but everyone contributed.  It was a team effort all around,” said Langone.

By finishing first, the team qualified for the National Semifinals, which were scheduled to take place on April 25.  Due to the sparseness of the state champion teams, this round utilized online testing.  The style of this round was similar to the qualifier, only much more secure.  Unlike in the qualifying round, the exam was administered to all of the state champion teams simultaneously in designated testing rooms by a proctor who is not the competitor’s teacher.

“I’m really excited,” said Elkins.  We’ve been studying a lot, and I think that we’ll do well.”