JA Exploring Economics®


JA Exploring Economics tackles a complex subject and makes it accessible and fun for high school students through hands-on activities.

JA Exploring Economics teaches concepts such as supply and demand, inflation, and the production and consumption of goods. It also explores how consumers can increase their wealth through different saving and investing options.

By making economics engaging and relatable, JA Exploring Economics helps students better understand the impact they have on the economy as consumers and taxpayers, and it teaches important personal financial lessons about spending, saving, and investing.

JA Exploring Economics is for students in grades nine through 12. It is composed of seven 45-minute sessions. Materials are packaged in a self-contained kit that includes detailed session plans for the volunteer and materials for 32 students.

All JA programs are designed to support the skills and competencies identified by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. JA programs also correlate to state standards in social studies, English, and mathematics, and to Common Core State Standards.

Pillars of Student Success Entrepreneurship:  Financial-Literacy:  Work-Readiness: 
Program Implementation Program Grade-Level
Classroom-Based High School
Program Concepts Program Skills
Banks as borrower and lender, Command economy, Consumer Price Index (CPI), Consumer purchasing power, Demand, Distribution, Economics, Economic isolationism, Economic systems, Federal Reserve System, Free-rider problem, Inflation, Inflation rate, International trade, Investing options, Market economy, Market-clearing price, Nonrivalry, Percentage change, Private property, Production, Public vs. private goods, Public vs. private sector, Regional trade, Risk versus reward, Saving options, Simple interest, Supply, Supply and demand, Tariff, Taxes, Trade restrictions, Utility, United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), World trade Analyzing information, Categorizing data, Charting, Decision making, Evaluating alternatives, Evaluating information, Graphing, Listening for understanding, Oral and written communication, Negotiating, Public speaking, Reading for understanding, Solving algebraic equations, Working in pairs and groups

Program Sessions

Economic Systems: Who Makes the Big Decisions?

Students examine how the economic system that a society uses for production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services significantly affects the individuals in that society.

Supply and Demand: What's It Worth to You?

Students illustrate the impact of supply and demand on the economy by participating in an economic situation using real-life examples.

Supply and Demand: The JA Market Game

Using an experiential game format, students demonstrate the interaction of supply and demand and how market forces affect the price of products.

Saving and Investing: Risks and Rewards

Students explore concepts related to consumers, savers, and investors, including how wealth increases in different saving and investing options. They compare the characteristics, risks, and rewards of several options.

Government's Role in the Market

Students analyze the effect of government on the economy, including intervention through the production of public goods and services, taxes, and its role in protecting private property.

Money, Inflation, and the CPI

Students learn about inflation and its effect on prices, consumer purchasing power, the willingness of financial institutions to loan money, and how the consumer price index (CPI) monitors inflation.

International Trade

Students compare trade policies and the global economy through a simulation based on the increased utility (satisfaction) of international trade.