News and Announcements

News and Announcements

3M Economic Educator Awards 2015

Eight economic educators were honored at the annual Economic Educator Day and Luncheon on October 27. The morning seminar event and luncheon were held at the historic and lovely Union League Club of Chicago. Winners of the 3M Outstanding Economic Educator Award are selected based on their long-standing history of involvement in the field of economic education and on their excellence in teaching economics. In order to be considered for the Outstanding Economic Educator award, teachers must first be nominated, then submit both letters of recommendation and student data to support the student learning that has taken place.

The 2015 Outstanding Economic Educator Award winners are;

  • Candace Fikis, from West Chicago Community High School
  • Lauren Musielewicz, from Meadow Ridge School in Orland Park

Each received a check for $500 and a plaque commemorating their achievement. Their schools received a $350 grant for economic education professional development and/or materials, and a framed certificate for display.

The 3M STARs in the Classroom Award recognizes teachers each year, from schools across the state, who have done an impressive job of bringing Econ Illinois' signature economic education programs into their classrooms to benefit their students. The teachers and their students have participated in the Economic Concepts Poster Contest, The Stock Market Game program, Personal Finance Challenge, and/or Economics Challenge in the past academic year.

The 2015 STAR in the Classroom Award winners include;

  • Nick Anello, Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Flossmoor
  • Craig Chatham, Harry D Jacobs High School, Algonquin
  • Rosa Lamb, Aspira Business and Finance High School, Chicago
  • Scott Lauer, LaSalle Peru Township High School, LaSalle
  • Jennifer Niemi, New Trier High School, Winnetka
  • J. Tracy Prescott, Washington Gifted Middle School, Peoria

Each honoree received a $125 check and a certificate to commemorate their achievement.

Econ Illinois and a representative from 3M presented the awards to honored teachers during the Luncheon. Audience members included Econ Illinois Board members, program sponsors, and community partners.

Econ Illinois would like to share media pieces from two of the award-winning economic educators. Here is Candace Fikis speaking with Tim Ranzetta from Next Generation Personal Finance regarding her 3M Award, and a write up on the Governors State University website regarding Lauren Musielewicz. 

Survey of the States

Every two years, the Council for Economic Education (CEE) conducts a comprehensive look into the state of K-12 economic and financial education in the United States, collecting data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The 2014 Survey of the States shows notable progress over the past 15 years since the first survey was conducted. The biennial survey serves as an important benchmark for progress.

National Economics Challenge

The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed the Econ Challenge competition on the NASSP National Advisory List of Contests and Activities for 2014–2015! View EC flyer. Several resources including a teacher toolkit and a variety of practice tests are now available on the the Council for Economic Education website. All of the resources are useful for Illinois teachers and students planning to participate in the Illinois competition this spring.

Curriculum Awards Announced (K-12)

The National Association of Economic Educators (NAEE) is pleased to announce the NAEE Curriculum Awards. The awards are to recognize superior curricular resources while also offering teachers and administrators a tool for choosing curriculum that is based on thorough examination by a committee of experts in subject matter and curriculum design.

Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards may be granted for elementary, middle school, and high school grade levels in the areas of economics, entrepreneurship, and personal finance. Resource categories include online courses, online curriculum programs, videos and podcasts, single-class lessons, and multiple-lesson series.

Be among the first awards granted by this organization of experts. Application is available at Deadline is midnight (CDT), June 30, 2015. Applications submitted by mail must be postmarked by June 25. Questions can be directed to

3M Award applications are available for economic educators

Applications are available for K-12 teachers who have a sustained history utilizing Econ Illinois programs and/or curriculum resources to support economic education in their classroom. Teachers and administators may nominate a classroom teacher or teachers can self-nominate. If planning to apply, please become familiar with requested student data before the end of the school year. Application deadline is July 15.

National Teacher Awards Program (K-12)

The Council for Economic Education (CEE) recognizes excellence in economic and financial education by honoring three national educators in the elementary, middle and high school levels with The John Morton Excellence in the Teaching of Economics Awards.
This award promotes economic education at the K-12 level by recognizing and honoring inspirational teachers whose innovative teaching concepts improve and stimulate economic understanding in and out of their classrooms and achieve results. The awards program is open to all K-12 teachers that are members of the CEE Educator Community. Any K-12 classroom teacher may use a self-nomination process or one may be nominated by other teachers, department chairs, principals, superintendents and CEE state affiliates.

Awards will be given in three teaching categories:
Elementary (Grades K-4)
Middle/Junior High (Grades 5-8)
High School (Grades 9-12)


• A cash award of $1000 each in each category
• All-expense paid scholarship to attend the 54th Annual Financial Literacy and Economic Education Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, October 2015
• Recognition at the CEE’s annual conference Teacher Awards luncheon
• Recognition on CEE website, digital assets, communications and in CEE's Teaching Opportunity November newsletter
• The opportunity to share best practices with their teaching colleagues by co-facilitating a session at the CEE annual conference in St. Petersburg

CEE Announces 55th Annual Conference

SAVE THE DATE for October 7-10, 2015! The Council for Economic Education’s 54th Annual Financial Literacy and Economic Education Conference is a nationwide meeting of K–12 educators, local CEE affiliates from across the country, Federal Reserve partners, and economics and personal finance educators from around the world. View the 2014 conference link to see the variety of curriculum, programs, and resources that are available for your classroom.

STEM Events

The 2015 NIU STEMfest will take place Saturday, October 18 from 10-5 at the NIU Convocation Center. The Econ Illinois K-12 teacher booth of resources and the STEM Finance Learning Exchange display will be among the many exhibits. Booths also showcased NIU College departments, regional research firms and corporations to engage students to consider STEM programs of study.

NIU STEM Outreach increases STEM literacy and interest for K-12 students, families, and educators. STEM Outreach delivers off-campus programs and on-campus activities that increase science, technology, engineering, and mathematics literacy and enthusiasm among students, their families, and educators.

Students Explain the Importance of Financial Literacy (K-12)

CEE asked elementary, middle, and high school students to explain the difference that understanding economics and personal finance can make in their lives. Here’s what they had to say!

Financial Literacy Month is observed to highlight the importance of financial literacy and to teach Americans how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits. Financial literacy is the ability to understand how money works in the world: how someone manages to earn or make it, how that person manages it, how he/she invests it and how that person donates it to help others. More specifically, it refers to the set of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informed and effective decisions with all of their financial resources.

Resources include:

Teaching the News

Use these current events to teach the news in your classroom. Following each article you’ll find several related resources from for teaching the underlying economics and personal finance concepts.

UIC CEE Working Paper Series

The UIC Center for Economic Education website features a list of working papers on a variety of economic education topics.  Helen Roberts, Director of the UIC Center is one of the contributing authors.

Archived Webinars for Economics and Personal Finance Education

CEE is pleased to offer free webinars for K-12 teachers, after school providers, curriculum developers, partners and anyone who has an interest in furthering economics and personal finance education in our nation’s schools.


Teacher shows why The Stock Market Game should be in YOUR classroom!

Tom Kowalewski, Virginia High School, created this video file for a course project. See how the SMG program can help reinforce teaching goals and provide life skills for students. Tom recommends Money Spin educational puzzle activity from White Bag Software. Watch»

Pritzker Elementary- SMG in the classroom

This Web-Documentary produced by The Stock Market Game and the "Pearson Foundation chronicles Pritzker Elementary's teacher Jerry Weissbuch and his use of the SMG program in the classroom and after school. Watch»

Managing Risk at CME Group - How it all Works

This is a great and yet very simple introduction to the vital role CME Group plays in helping people manage their risk on a daily basis. It breaks the terminology and general concepts down into terms everyone can understand. A great video to play in the classroom too. Students who tour the CME Group/Chicago Board of Trade see this video as part of that visit. Watch»