Economics at Open Evenings

I really love Open Evenings - once I get on my Economics soapbox, it's hard to shut me up. However, they always seem to creep up on me and I have to scramble last minute for stuff, so, this time, I'm getting it written down...

1) Currency sorting - I can't for the life of me remember who gave me this idea, but I've been using it for years and it' s always a hit. I don't own the images so I can't share the document, but the image links are below: you just need to print and laminate them. You then get a sixth former to calculate the £ value of each and for them to challenge visitors to try to put them in value order.

20,000 Venezuelan Bolivars

20 GB Pounds

10,000 Hungarian Forint

50 Euros

20 US Dollars

20 Australian Dollars

100 Chinese Yuan

5000 Yen

1000 Central African Franc

2) I also like to do some other ranking/match up activities. This year I've gone with this because I'd already collected the data.

3)There are lots of articles extolling the financial benefits of Economics. This one from the Economist claims that 'High-scoring students leave £500,000 on the table by eschewing economics'. This one from BBC shows that Economics has the biggest return for males and the second biggest for females. There is a nice video from Discover Economics which shows earnings of graduates over a number of years.

4) Tutor2U have some Open Evening-friendly posters such as these ones on Careers in Economics, these ones on Why Study Economics, these ones one on Famous Female Economists and these ones on Modern Classic reads. I've written about other posters you might want to use here.

5) If you have an interactive whiteboard (or any sort of IT), you can invite guests to play Spent, Storyline, Gapminder or FactQuest. but a word of warning: my school firewall doesn't really like either of the first two, so check them out on your school network in advance. For Storyline and FactQuest, it can be fun to have a leaderboard on the go. I recommend having one for students and one for adults. List the numbers 1 to 10 on large sheet of flipchart paper and use post-its to chart the name and score of the Top 10.

6) If you have a big screen, another alternative would be this video from Tutor2U which you can stream or download and put on a loop.

7) If you want to emphasise the current affairs aspect of Economics, you can display one of IXL Tutors' 'What really Happened?' starters, put one of Tutor2U's news quizzes on or, if your students make news scrapbooks, you can display those.

8) There are lists of famous people with Econ degrees here, here, here, here, here and here. Suprises include Arsene Wenger, Russell Howard and Lionel Ritchie. You might also want to advertise that Emma Radacanu recently received an A in her Economics A-Level and plans to go on to study for an Economics degree.

9) We talked a bit at Open Evenings in EconEdChats here and here, so check those out if you want to hear what other teachers are doing.

10) Tutor2U have some Getting Started in Economics courses for AQA and Edexcel. If you provide a handout, it might be worth putting a QR code to these courses somewhere on there.

11) Open Evenings are the first hurdles in improving diversity in Economics. Discover Economics have some useful resources for that