New England Economic Adventure Opens New England Economic Adventure Opens

October 8, 2003
Contact: Thomas L. Lavelle, Assistant Vice President and Public Information Officer

BOSTON, -- The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston today announced the opening of the New England Economic Adventure. The Adventure is an interactive educational exhibit that teaches important lessons about how economies grow using stories from New England's history. It encompasses pivotal moments from the birth of American industry to the dawn of the digital era, and demonstrates the importance of innovation and investment in shaping how New Englanders live today. The Adventure's primary audience is expected to be middle and secondary students, but it will be an enriching experience for all ages.

"Economic literacy is an essential skill in today's world," said Cathy E. Minehan, President of the Boston Fed, "and raising awareness of economics with today's youth is of particular importance to the Federal Reserve. With the New England Economic Adventure, we hope to show students how economic growth affects their lives in real, concrete ways. This program will convey those concepts while offering these kids a good time as well."

The New England Economic Adventure is a vivid look at the way people once lived in this region. From the farms of the early 1800s, to the burgeoning cities of the 1890s, to the growing comfort of 1960s suburbs, the Adventure tracks the path of the New England economy, illustrating how goods and services increased in both quality and quantity.

The centerpiece of the Adventure is the Invest-in-Growth game, which highlights economic advances by using illustrations from New England's past. Students participate in a competition by way of an interactive theatre experience that transports them to three critical time periods. First, students evaluate Francis Cabot Lowell's plans to lay the groundwork of New England's textile industry. They then grapple with the choices facing Colonel Albert Pope as he jockeys for market position among bicycle manufacturers. Finally, students join management of the Digital Equipment Corporation as they debate the price for a revolutionary new computer. Players make investment decisions and then watch the consequences of their choices unfold.

"The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is proud to pay tribute to the economic resilience and ingenuity of the New England region" said Lynn Browne, executive vice president and senior economist. "New England's economic history is ideal to illustrate the economic growth process, as it was the first part of the country to industrialize, and has been a perennial breeding ground for technological innovations."

The Adventure experience continues in a new Economic Education Laboratory. The Lab provides on-site educational opportunities that amplify the concepts introduced in the exhibits and games. The Fed also offers pre-visit workshops for teachers and educators to familiarize them with the Adventure, and it continues to offer its more traditional educational programs, including the three economic competitions: Fed Challenge, Economics Challenge, and LifeSmarts.

The Adventure is supported by a web site that provides related information to educators and students. The web site is intended to play an active role in the Adventure experience, acting as both an appetizer and dessert for those participating in it.