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Getting to Know the Fed: Teaching about the Federal Reserve - Classroom ECONnections from the Fed, Episode 10

In this ECONnections webinar you will hear about classroom resources that you can use to engage your students as they learn about the Federal Reserve. Economic educators from the Fed present a variety of tools, including publications, online courses, videos, games, posters and infographics about what the Fed is and what it does.

Transcript

Below is a full transcript of this webinar. It has not been edited or reviewed for accuracy or readability.

Jean Roark: All right, thank you, Karen. Hello, and welcome to the Federal Reserve Classroom E-connections webinar. Today, we'll discuss getting to know the Fed and teaching about the Federal Reserve. I'm Jean Roark, and I'll be your facilitator. Let me introduce our speakers. Our first speaker today is Princeton Williams, and he is joining us from the Dallas Fed, and Nick Haltom from the Richmond Fed.

Before turning our call over to Princeton, I'd like to go over a couple of call logistics, and I am on Slide Two. If you haven't joined us through the webinar yet, go ahead and click the link you received after registering. For the best webinar experience, use the FAQ document, which can be found using the Materials button in the webinar player page, and I'll highlight just a few important notes for you. Now, there's a small window on the upper left corner of the webinar player page, and that's supposed to show you the speaker's photo. If you do not see the speaker photo and you see a message instead, please press Control F5 and then Control R to refresh your page and show the speaker photo. You can listen to the audio through your PC speakers or through the phone. If you use the phone option, the slides will not sync with audio unless you change your setting. You can do this by selecting the grey gear located on the upper right corner of the slide window just above the presentation. From there, you should see a few options in the media chooser, and you should select the phone option, that's if you're listening through the phone.

You can expand the size of the slides. To do this, just use the maximize button in the upper right corner of the slide window located on the webinar player page. And, if you'd like a PDF version of today's presentation, you can access it using the Materials button. We'll be taking questions throughout the presentation, and you can submit them at any time during our call. If you've joined us in the webinar, just use the Ask Question button. We'll get your questions queued up for Nick and Princeton.

And, I will turn to Slide Three to read our very brief legal disclaimer. The view expressed in this webinar are those of the presenters and not necessarily the views of the Federal Reserve Banks of Cleveland, Dallas, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Richmond, and St. Louis or the Federal Reserve System. And with that, I will turn our call over to Princeton in Dallas.

Princeton Williams: Welcome. I'm glad you all could join us today. I'm going to advance to Slide Four. Once again, my name is Princeton Williams. I'm the Economic Education Program Coordinator here in Dallas. We can go on to Slide Five, and today, I'm going to be talking to you about a new publication from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the newest installment in our Everyday Economic series, the Federal Reserve. So, go on to Slide Six. I'm going to take the opportunity to use a few minutes to tell you about the Federal Reserve System as a whole using some of the images from the new publication, and really this is strange math that today we're going to talk about how three plus four equals the Federal Reserve System. So, if you can remember a list of three and a list of four, you'll know quite a bit about the Federal Reserve.

So, we can go to the next slide. The first set of three is actually the structure of the Federal Reserve system. You can see here that we've got a three-part structure: the Board of Governors, the Federal Open Market Committee, and the Federal Reserve Banks. I'm going to take each one of those in turn because they each had a valuable contribution and a different part of how the Federal Reserve system works so well and has done so for over 100 years. So, we can go to Slide Eight.

So, the first part that we're going to talk about is the Board of Governors. There is seven members of the Board of Governors. These are not the governors of your state, but in fact the Governors of the Federal Reserve system. Each of these individuals is appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a 14-year term. They can't actually serve an unexpired term and then have their own 14-year term, but they can actually be re‑appointed for two 14-year terms. One of the unique features of this approval process is that each of the seven governors go through a confirmation hearing for their position as governor and then three of those individuals actually go through a second confirmation process to take on a leadership role at the Board of Governors. Those three leadership roles are the FOMC and Board Chair, the Board Vice-Chair, and a Vice-Chair for Banking Supervision. Jay Powell, Jerome Powell is actually the current FOMC Chair. You might recall that he was proceeded by Janet Yellen, Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan, all those names that you would have heard about in the news.

We'll go onto Slide Nine for the next part of the structure. While the Board of Governors is centralized, they're located right in the heart of Washington, D.C. and oversee the entire system, the second part of the system is actually the regional reserve banks. There are 12 regional reserve banks spread out across the country—you can see there from the map—all the way from Boston, noted by 1A. New York is 2B. Nick is down in 5E in Richmond. I'm in 11K in Dallas, and then, 12L is located in San Francisco, so 12 presidents and 12 banks in each of the 12 districts that you can see there. Those leaders, those presidents are actually selected by the individual Board of Directors of that regional reserve bank. It includes six members from the community and three bankers, but that selection of President and also the Chief Operating Officer, the first Vice-President, has to be confirmed by the Board of Governors in an important check and balance on the regional aspects of the Fed.

We can go to Slide 10. Those two sides come together at the Federal Open Market Committee. You can see there the seven members of the Board of Governors. And then, we have the 12 regional Federal Reserve Bank presidents. The FOMC is led by the Chair of the Board of Governors and the New York Fed President, who serves as the Vice-Chair for the FOMC. That group meets at least eight times per year to analyze the health of the nation's economy and vote on the appropriate monetary policy stance for the upcoming period of time. One of the most important, and probably one of the best-known parts of that meeting, is when the FOMC at 2:15 on the second Eastern and on the second day of their meeting releases a statement. One of the more interesting parts of the FOMC is that the voting structure was actually codified into law and it includes the seven Governors. The New York Fed President always votes, and then, four of the remaining 11 Federal Reserve Bank presidents actually vote. But, we like to emphasize that this is a consensus-driven decision-making policy, and while there are occasionally dissents, consensus rules today and all the views from across the country are heard at the Federal Open Market Committee.

Go onto Slide 11. I promised a list of three and a list of four. So, remember, there's three parts of the structure: the centralized Board of Governors that's in Washington, D.C., the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks spread out across the country, and then the Federal Open Market Committee where those two sides come together. Now, our list of four. We have four main responsibilities: conducting monetary policy, maintaining the stability of the financial system, regulating and supervising banks, and supporting the payment system. So, we'll take each one of those in turn.

So, we can go to the next slide. Monetary policy is a complex process, and we're going to treat it at a very high level in this presentation, but the new Federal Reserve book goes into quite a bit more detail about it, so along with other resources that Nick is going to share. Monetary policy are the actions of the Federal Reserve where we influence the availability and cost of money and credit to achieve the national economic goals. Now, that's a lot of words, but the most important thing here is that as we make money and credit more available or more scarce, then that affects interest rates. And, interest rates affect all the decisions that businesses make on opening new locations. You can see there a grand opening sign. That young woman might have just purchased a new car. All of those decisions are often impacted by interest rates, and those interest rates throughout the economy are impacted by the decisions of the Federal Open Market Committee as they set the course for monetary policy.

Go onto Slide 13. The next thing, the next major responsibility for the Federal Reserve system is maintaining the stability of the financial system. In the wake of the financial crisis, it became increasingly apparent that the health of individual banks and financial institutions was important, but it was also important to take a broader look at the entire financial system. And so, the Federal Reserve, along with numerous other federal agencies, is looking in the past 10 years at a broad view of how financial markets and financial institutions connect savers and investors, borrowers and spenders, so that they can have access to the credit that they need and allows for a solid and stable and safe U.S. economic system that benefits the population broadly.

We can go onto the next slide. On the other hand, while we look at the entire financial system stability—pardon me—we also look at the health and soundness of individual institutions. One example I use for this is it's if, like, when my son was in middle school, the school board passed a dress code and his first period Social Studies teacher was at the door every morning to make sure that those sixth graders were complying with the dress code. The Board of Governors actually writes the regulations that govern how banks conduct their business, and then, the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks actually go out and make sure that the banks are following the rules. That regulation and supervising process looks for safety and soundness in financial institutions to make sure that they are safeguarding their deposits. They look for stability in competition in financial markets so that no one has an unfair advantage, and they finally look for fair and equitable treatment of consumers. All three of those goals are important and are top of mind when we think about regulating and supervising banks.

Go onto Slide 15. The Federal Reserve also supports the payment system through our financial services area. We used to clear a tremendous number of checks, when people wrote more checks and checks had to be handled more because of existing laws and technology. Now, as electronic transfers have grown and transformed the way we all conduct business, the Fed plays a major role in making sure that those ways of paying for and conducting transactions in the American economy are safe and secure and, actually, that consumers don't have to even think about them. They just make the payments and conduct the transactions that allow for our dynamic economy to grow and prosper.

Go onto the next slide. Another part of the payment system that we support at the Federal Reserve system is currency and coins. All of those bills that you carry in your billfold are Federal Reserve notes. Every year, the Federal Reserve places an order from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Department of the U.S. Treasury for new U.S. currency, but that U.S. currency is actually distributed through the Federal Reserve system. Every day at locations across the country, banks deposit used currency and that currency is tested to make sure that it's genuine and that it is fit to return to circulation. Any currency that's deemed to be too worn, torn, dirty, gross, anything is actually shredded right there at the time and replaced with new currency as banks request that to go out into circulation through the commercial banking system.

The last part of our financial services, if we can go to Slide 17, is that we are the fiscal agent for the U.S. Treasury. Right here on the newly extended tax day, when those payments are accepted by the Internal Revenue Service, all those tax payments will be placed into the U.S. Government's checking account at the Federal Reserve. We provide banking services. So, when the U.S. Government pays for an item or issues or redeems a U.S. Government security, we actually facilitate that financial transaction. I always tell students when they're visiting the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas that we are like a bank in the fact that we don't tell the U.S. Government how to spend money. We don't vote on tax revenue or spending programs. We actually are just their bank, just like their bank doesn't tell them how to use their money in their savings account or their checking account.

We can go onto Slide 18. That's a quick overview of the Federal Reserve system. Like I said, we have three parts of our structure (the Board of Governors, the regional reserve banks, and the FOMC) and four things that we do (monetary policy, financial system stability, supporting that, supervising and regulating banks, and providing financial services and supporting the payment system). That is all integral to the success of the U.S. economy, and the Federal Reserve exists to serve the U.S. population. This new publication goes into great detail about all of those parts of our system, as well as the functions and what we do, but it also has more information.

We can go onto Slide 19. We talked about the journey, from the earliest days of the republic when Hamilton and Jefferson were debating the virtues of a central bank, all the way to the panic of 1907 that led to the creation of the Federal Reserve system. You can see that I've been—On Slide 20, you can see that I've been pulling information on the structure from a brand-new infographic about the structure of the Federal Reserve system. Both of these are going to be available on the Dallas Fed's website for you to print for your classroom. They'll be nicely formatted as 11 by 17. We're going for an infographic that, hopefully, is engaging for students and really distills this information into easy-to-understand chunks, and it's presented both in words and in pictures.

Let's go onto Slide 21. One of the features in the text is the question about McCulloch v. Maryland. Of course, this was about the Second Bank of the United States. It actually was litigated many years, almost 100 years before the Federal Reserve system came into being, but it's still an important constitutional justification for why the U.S. Government can create a central bank. So, we delve into that a little bit here in this feature about McCulloch v. Maryland.

On Slide 22, every one of the Everyday Economic series actually has a center spread where we treat an economic topic, and this one is measuring the economy. So, you've got one of the pages. Really, the Federal Reserve uses two primary ways to measure the economy. We use anecdotal information from a book called The Beige Book. You are going to hear about that report and some ways to use it in your classroom here in just a minute, but we also look at statistical information. One of the important things about this page that I like to point out is that, as in many courses, especially history and geography courses, need to have consistent language about how GDP, inflation, and unemployment is defined. Hopefully, this can be a useful graphic for a number of different courses where the health and the measurement of the broader economy is addressed.

We can go onto Slide 23. We are happy to send a classroom set of this publication to any teacher that requests it. You can go onto our website at dallasfed.org/educate/everyday and you'll see the entire list of Everyday Economics, along with this newest one, the Federal Reserve. And, on that Federal Reserve page, you'll see a link to an order form, and we'll ship those directly to your school. If ever if you have multiple teachers that would benefit from a classroom set, we're happy to ship several sets to your school. Just have each teacher go online and individually request that classroom set, and we'll send them right out within a week or so.

We can go onto the next slide. We have released the first new lesson plan that's going to accompany the Federal Reserve, and that's Take a Seat at the Table, an FOMC simulation. We'll have more lessons coming soon about measuring the economy, looking at GDP, inflation, and unemployment, and then, a new Fed 101, an overview of the Federal Reserve system for classroom use.

We can go onto Slide 25. The Take-a-Seat at the Table lesson plan actually uses that base book information that I spoke of earlier, and students take the role of a Federal Reserve president and they use that information to assess the regional economy. So, these are actually, these slides are taken from the lesson plan themselves, the visuals that are available online.

You can go onto Slide 27, 26. I'm sorry. We introduce the students to the two types of information, anecdotal and statistical information, and then, on Slide 27, as students actually read the base book, the two-page report from an individual Federal Reserve district and then report out about the balance of risks so that they can actually think about making a monetary policy decision and participating in that vital FOMC discussion.

We can go onto Slide 28. The culminating activity reviews the press release that's issued by the Federal Open Market Committee and actually asks students to write several of the sections that might be in a press release based on their analysis of the FOMC materials. So, you're using primary sources and coming up with a real product that can be compared to the actual workings of the Federal Open Market Committee.

Go onto Slide 29, and this is just a screenshot of the page. So, you can see there that you can download the PDF of the Federal Reserve publication. You can order a classroom set. You can see the other issues of the Federal Reserve series and then download the lesson procedure and the visuals for the Take-a-Seat at the Table, and this is the location where other lesson plans will be posted as they become available. I'll go onto Slide 30 and turn it back over to Jean to see if there's been any questions that came in from the audience.

Jean Roark: All right. Thank you so much, Princeton. I will just remind our participants, if you've joined us in the webinar, you can submit your questions to Princeton at this time. Just use that Ask Question button, and I will get those queued up for us to be able to ask. So, I refreshed a couple of times, and I don't see any questions right now, Princeton. So, what I'm guessing is people maybe will think of their question and submit it at the end after Nick presents. So, Nick, I'll turn it over to you for your content portion.

Nick Haltom: Great. Thank you very much, Jean. Good afternoon, everyone. The new Everyday Economics booklet that Princeton's been presenting about is one of many educational resources that we have included on our system website federalreserveeducation.org. You can go to the next slide. So, here's a screenshot of our website, federalreserveeducation.org, and what I'm going to do is tell you about a lot of resources that we have available through this site, in addition to Everyday Economics, that you can use to teach about the Fed and help your students understand the Fed's three-part structure and full responsibilities that Princeton discussed. The great thing about this site is that it provides access to useful resources produced by Reserve banks across the country and also the Board of Governors. I'm going to be talking about a subset of resources today, again, ones that are specifically about the structure and role of the Fed and several that are relatively new or updated. But, definitely keep in mind that there is a lot more resources available to you on this website that, again, cover things that help you teach about the Fed, but also a lot of personal finance and economics concepts.

There's also a few site features I want to quickly point out. As you can see in the middle, there's a search bar, a search field. You can quickly search for resources by keyword, and when you do that, you'll get search results that you can then use filters to narrow down what you're looking for. And, you can filter by grade level, by topic, by standard, and by resource type. So, you can really hone in on what you're trying to find. Another feature of this site is that you can get connected to the regional Reserve bank in your area, directly connected to their website and the resources that they have to offer, and what this will help you do is determine if there's a teacher workshop that might be upcoming that you could attend or also if there's field trip opportunities that you can take a group of students to your local Reserve bank office.

If you see there in the middle bottom portion, we're also on Twitter, and we definitely encourage you to follow us there. Our Twitter handle is @FedEconEd, and that's a really good way to keep up-to-date on recently released resources. And then, we also have an Order Publications link there. You know, Princeton mentioned how you can order Everyday Economics directly from the Dallas Fed, and you can continue to do that and do the same on other Reserve banks' websites. But, what we've created here is a one-stop shop for you with all the print materials we have available from across the system that you can order classroom sets for free.

Next slide, please. In addition to federalreserveeducation.org, there's another resource site we want you to be aware of, and that's Econ Lowdown. Econ Lowdown is provided by the St. Louis Fed, and it gives you access to, not only a lot of resources, but also instructor management features. So, here you can set up an online classroom and choose from a bunch of resources to enroll your students in. You can track your students' progress and scores along the way, and what this slide is showing you is, after you've created a teacher account and logged into the teacher portal, this is what the site will look like for you, where you can get access to the resource gallery and set up a classroom. A new feature on Econ Lowdown is a syllabus feature. You can choose among resources in the resource gallery and arrange your syllabus by date or simply by moving content up and down in your list, and when your syllabus is ready, you can publish it so your students can get started. And then, your student access, all the resources, their progress and grades through links on the syllabus.

Next slide, please. So, here are few examples of some resources from the Econ Lowdown resource gallery that you can include in the syllabus for teaching about the Fed. One is an online monetary policy course that you can see there. As you can see on the slide, all the online courses in Econ Lowdown include a pre-test and a post-test. You can see that in the left navigation part of the course, and there are also knowledge checks built in throughout the lessons. In addition to online courses, you can access an assigned podcast, readings, and videos with quiz questions. You may be familiar with the In Plain English animated video. There are screenshots there on the slide, which has the character Buck as your students' tour guide at the Fed. That video is also included in the resource gallery. But again, these are just a few of the resources available through the platform. There are many others that cover teaching about the Fed and various economics and personal finance topics.

Next slide, please. Now, I'll spend some time talking more about videos specifically, starting with the most comprehensive video we have. The Federal Reserve and You was most recently in 2016, and it covers the history, structure, and functions of the Fed. And, the really nice thing about this video is how segmented it is. It's broken into eight chapters and 71 segments overall, and the segments are typically five minutes or less in length, which gives you a lot of flexibility for what you'd like to cover. To give you a sense of the range of chapters, there's a chapter with an overview of the Fed, as well as one on central banking history, money and banking 101, and then, in the chapters, it dives more deeply into each of the primary functions of the Fed. There's also a chapter that covers questions on core economic concepts, such as business cycles and interest, and a chapter that dives more deeply into Fed actions over time and other topics, like Fed independence and transparency. You can also access the videos in a number of ways. DVDs are available for you to order, or you can access the videos online through the Philadelphia [unintelligible] [00:29:23] website or YouTube channel if you want to stream them.

Next slide. On this slide, I wanted to share some of the contents and run time of Chapter One in the Federal Reserve and You video as an example. This first chapter was designed as a 26-minute substitute for the old Fed Today video, which some of you may have used in the past. In the current video, the narration relies on on-screen 20-something hosts with the help of interviews with Fed officials to help tell the Fed's story. There's a lot of animations to help relay the economic content, and there's also eight dramatic vignettes that help to relate both the economic concepts and historical events to your students.

Next slide, please. There are classroom lessons to accompany the videos. One lesson, it's called Your Introduction to the Federal Reserve and You, uses an anticipation and reaction guide to help your students learn about the Fed, what it is, what it does, and the impact of the Fed on the economy. There are also lessons on the First Bank of the United States and functions and characteristics of money that go along with segments from the Federal Reserve and You that are about those topics.

Next slide, please. Another thing to note about the videos in Chapter One of the Federal Reserve and You and you can access them is that they're also available through the Econ Lowdown portal as part of what's called the Video Q&A series. So, what you can do is sign up for a teacher account on Econ Lowdown and find these resources in your resource gallery and assign the video segment to your students, and then, your students can take a short quiz following the video. But, there are many other videos available in the Video Q&A too. Some of those are shown on this slide that are boxed in red. These include what are called the Fed Explained videos that were created by the Atlanta Fed. They use really vibrant graphics and animation to describe the structure and functions of the Fed and also basic economic concepts, such as inflation and GDP. In this slide, it gives you an idea of how you'll find these in the Econ Lowdown platform. That left part of the slide that you see is your filtering options, so under resource type, you could select Video Q&A. Then, as you see there under topics, I've filtered, I've selected fiscal and monetary policy as my topic, and then, my search results get refined related to that topic.

Next slide, please. Depending on what you're looking for to meet your students' needs and—There are a lot of other videos and types of videos available in the Video Q&A that you can consider. For example, this slide shows what are called classroom economist videos in the resource gallery, and in these videos, students hear directly from an economist to get an economist perspective about various topics. And, one of those topics is the role of the Fed in setting monetary policy. The economist describes the tools of monetary policy, but also the effect of monetary policy on the economy.

Next slide. Now, we'll take a look at some other visuals that you can use to help explain this idea to your students. You know, Princeton showed some new ones that part of the Everyday Economics, the Federal Reserve booklet, and I'm going to go through a series of others, since we've gotten a lot of interest from educators who really like to use these in the classroom. The one on the left is called the Fed Explained infographic, and that poster is connected to the Fed Explained animated videos I mentioned a few minutes ago as part of the Video Q&A offerings. The online version of the infographic is hyperlinked to the Fed Explained videos, and you can also order a print version of the poster to put up in your classroom, and there's also a complimentary activity that you can use where your students can answer questions about the infographic content. Another infographic available online and for order is called your connection to the economy and the Federal Reserve. This infographic really gets to the question that many of your students may be asking, which is why does the Fed matter to me? This infographic guides students through their role in the economy, the Fed's role in the economy, and the ways that those two roles intersect. And, there's also a complimentary activity for this infographic.

Next slide. If infographics are your thing, there are plenty more to choose from. Here, you'll see some infographics on each part of the Fed's dual mandate from Congress, maximum employment and price stability. There's also an infographic to help your students understand the difference between monetary and fiscal policy. Print copies of the infographics and many more that cover a variety of economics and personal finance concepts can be ordered through the Atlanta Fed. Here's a screenshot where you can order it through their website. There's also a direct link there that'll give you access to that infographics page.

Next slide. So, one final word on infographics before we move on. The What is the Fed? resource also has some engaging visuals that you can use to help your students understand the Fed structure and each of its functions individually. A couple of unique features of this resource, it includes a history timeline. It shows central banking over time and how the Fed has evolved over the past 100 years of its existence as well. There's also a visual that helps students understand actions the Fed take to promote financial stability during extraordinary events and periods of acute financial strain, such as September 11, 2001 and the days following, Hurricane Katrina, and then the more recent sub-prime mortgage crisis. These visuals will be available in an online interactive format this spring, and then complimentary booklets and posters are expected to be available later this year.

Next slide, please. Now, I'll switch and do a quick rundown of some classroom lessons and activities that are available. I'm going to go through these really quick with just the highlights, but I've included the direct link that you can use to access each lesson after the webinar. Okay. So, let's start with your students' Fed IQ. This is an activity that you can use that uses a Bingo-type board with questions about the Fed. You can use it in a couple of ways. You can make it interactive, a human Bingo game and have your students get up and find other students you can write in the answer to a question on their sheet, or you can assign it as an individual online scavenger hunt.

Next slide. Another way that you can get your students up and chatting about the Fed is to use this chatterbox activity from the What is the Board of Governors? lesson. The Board of Governors has been in the news lately quite a bit with Jay Powell taking over as Fed Chair from Chair Yellen who preceded him, and there's also been nominees to the Board of Governors. So, you can use this lesson to help your students learn more about this part of the Fed's three-part structure that Princeton talked about earlier. In this lesson, students view a video clip from the Federal Reserve and You, and then in the chatterbox activity, they will review what they've learned in an interactive way.

Next slide. Another way to teach about the Fed and engage your students in the discussion is to tie the Fed's role to discussions you might be having with your students about money. The money circle curriculum from the Kansas City Fed includes eight stand-alone lessons that explore money across various themes, and one of those themes is money flow, which includes monetary policy. Other themes include money's history, functions and characteristics, earning and spending money, and financial planning and budgeting. The lessons use primary sources, video, web-based resources, as well as Federal Reserve research.

Next slide. Another lesson from the Kansas City Fed that connects economic history, the Fed, and personal finance is called Liberty Loan Bonds and the Federal Reserve. This lesson uses a Prezi presentation. If you're not familiar with that, it's a presentation style where you can zoom in, zoom out. It's very engaging visually. It uses that presentation to introduce students to the Federal Reserve and the role it played in selling liberty bonds to the public to help the Treasury finance World War I. And then, groups of students are also given historical personas of World War I individuals with lifestyle information in order to do a budget simulation.

Next slide. Here's a little bit more about the budget simulation in the Liberty Loan Bonds and the Federal Reserve lesson. Students use their persona's income and expenses in a monthly budget and make adjustments, with the goal of saving to purchase liberty loans to support the war effort.

Next slide. For those of you who many be looking for a project-based lesson, you can check out Beige Book in the Classroom. Princeton kind of alluded to this when he was talking. This lesson's designed to not only help the students better understand the Fed, but also to get familiar with analyzing economic conditions. So, Princeton mentioned the Beige Book. Again, this is the publication that provides a snapshot of business conditions and economic conditions in each of the Fed's 12 regional districts, and it's produced eight times a year. In the lesson, students learn about economic conditions and also how to describe changes in them so they can write about it, and then, they actually survey community business and collect economic information to write their own version of the Beige Book.

Next slide. Another way to get your students thinking more deeply about economic conditions, and this is more on the statistical side as opposed to the anecdotal side that Princeton mentioned, and then also the thing about monetary policy, is to have them play the Chair the Fed game. Here, students get to play the role of Federal Reserve Chair and set monetary policy. Students adjust the federal funds rate in order to achieve maximum employment and the Fed's target of 2% inflation. This game really is a unique challenge for students because they have to react to incoming economic information, while also anticipating how current changes to monetary policy will play out and effect the economy in the future. Another thing that I want to note is that this updated version also works really well on mobile devices.

Next slide. And then, finally, if you're really looking to expand your students' horizons, you can look to outer space. The New York Fed has produced a new comic book that explains the Fed's structure and responsibilities through the story of the citizens on Planet Novus. This is a really fun story about how Novus sends three of its citizens to Earth to learn about the Federal Reserve on a fact-finding mission in order to come back to Novus and work with their fellow citizens to develop a stable economy on their own planet. There are middle and high school lesson plans available to accompany the comic book and include activities worksheets and discussion guides, and the New York Fed is able to provide a limited number of printed comic books for the classroom, 30 comic books in a set on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Next slide. So, I know this is a lot of information. We shared a lot with you over the last 40, 45 minutes or so, and we hope at least one of these resources, if not several of them, will meet your needs and really give you something to help teach about the Fed. And with that, I'll turn it back over to Jean to see if we have any questions. Thank you.

Jean Roark: All right. Thank you so much, Nick. I appreciate that. Just to give our participants a quick reminder, you can submit your questions using the Ask Question button in the webinar player page, and I will stall for just a moment or two and refresh my inbox and see if we get any questions for either Princeton or Nick at this time. So, while I am refreshing, Princeton, I was going to give you an opportunity to give closing remarks, and then, I'll let you know if we get any questions after you provide your closing remarks.

Princeton Williams: Sure thing. It's been a pleasure to present these to you guys. The Federal Reserve system is anxious to support your efforts in the classroom, and we are, your local reserve bank and all of us across the system, stand ready to help you with resources. So, as Nick mentioned, I'm going to underline federalreserveeducation.org as a rich resource to share with your colleagues across multiple disciplines because you can find resources for personal finance, economics, and obviously, as we've mentioned today, the Federal Reserve. So, I hope that you will take advantage and reach out to your local reserve bank if you have any questions at all, or you're always welcome to reach out to Nick or to myself.

Jean Roark: All right. Thanks for that, Princeton, and we did get a couple of questions in while you were providing your closing remarks. So, the first question is are any of the resources shared appropriate for elementary or middle school audiences?

Nick Haltom: Well, this is Nick. So, most of the resources that we've shared today are most appropriate for middle school and high school, and that's aligned with the standards that are being taught about the central bank and the Fed. We do have a lot of resources available though on federalreserveeducation.org and among reserve banks and Econ Lowdown as well for teaching basic economic concepts and personal finance to elementary students. And, I'll let Princeton add anything else if he'd like to.

Princeton Williams: I would concur. I think the Federal Reserve, in the states that I know about the standards, the Federal Reserve might come up first in, like, the eighth grade in the first test of U.S. History. So, those, that would be looking at the First and Second Bank and looking forward to the modern-day Federal Reserve. So, I know that different states have different orders that most of our resources would have to be scaffolded down quite a bit. I would say that they might provide some good information for an elementary school teacher if she or he were trying to teach about banking and the Federal Reserve system, but I think it would have to be, you would have to be interpreted quite a lot.

Jean Roark: Okay. Thanks for that, Princeton. We do have another question, and you may have touched on it, but I'm going to announce it anyway. Can I get resources from other Fed districts, even if I don't live in those districts?

Nick Haltom: Yeah. The answer is absolutely, and I really encourage you to use federalreserveeducation.org. You know, our resources are even available online through online courses or videos and stuff like we've mentioned that you can certainly access from anywhere, freely available. And then, the print materials were more than happy to ship print materials as we have them available across the country. So, it doesn't matter if you're in one district or another. We're happy to get you what you need.

Princeton Williams: I would concur.

Jean Roark: All right. Perfect. Thank you. So, I'm just going to do a quick refresh and make sure that we didn't get any additional questions in, and going once, going twice. Okay. I don't see any additional questions. So, I want to thank both Nick and Princeton for sharing their time and expertise with us today. I will push out a survey for you. So, that survey should be available now for those of you who joined us via webinar, and shortly, there will be an e-mail that comes to you with that same survey link. You only need to fill it out once, but please do take just a couple of minutes to let us know how we're doing. This concludes today's Federal Reserve E-Connections webinar. Enjoy the rest of your day.

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Audience:   High School, College
Language:   English
Resource Types:   Webinar
Concepts:   Federal Reserve System-structure, Federal Reserve System-functions