The Euro Challenge

Teams of five from high- schools all across the Midwest will gather at the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago early this april. There, they will give a presentation to judges on a political problem surrounding a European country. The students will be judged by their ability to present information and a solution to the problem, while answering questions about their . One team will win and move on to give their presentation at nationals in Washington D.C.

The Euro Challenge was set up by the European Union for freshman and sophomores in the United States to help better the understanding of the happenings in Europe. NCHS has participated in the event for the past three years. The team was started after several sophomores expressed interest about debating and learning more about current events. Social studies teacher Meghan Hawkins then started the group. She explains, “The project is a great chance to learn! Students get to practice research skills, learn about current events and get a chance to formally present and show how much they know.”

The Normal Community team this year consists of Tejas Idate, Alyssa Gourley, Ashton Barber, Lucas Lasher, Radiance Campbell, and Cameron Rink. All the students have showed curiosity towards current events and social studies. The topic they are presenting is the unemployment problem in Spain. For the past several weeks, these students have been gathering on Thursdays to research and discuss the problems and are brainstorming solutions. They will go to the conference and present what they have learned to a panel of judges working with the E.U and familiar problems facing it. Members of the group are very enthusiastic about the experience. “I joined because I love learning about the world around me. School curriculum focuses almost exclusively on America, and is is absolutely fascinating to hear about other countries,” said sophomore Radiance Campbell.

To come up with a solution for Spain’s unemployment, the students have been pouring over information. Unemployment rates, economic histories, as well as other factors all come into play. Sophomore Lucas Lasher says, “This group was created to fester a deeper understanding of the European Union, as well as an appreciation for the Union.” The information learned has helped the students better understand the political world around them.