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Math Activity: Be a Budget Hero

Confronting the complexity of the federal budget is an engaging way to get kids thinking about the importance of numbers. In light of the budget crisis, American Public Media and 360KID have developed Budget Hero, an online game in which players try their best to balance the federal budget. Players can make policy changes by playing a variety of policy cards. The results of these changes are reflected by the budget deficit/surplus, the size of government as a percentage of GDP, the national debt as a percentage of GDP, and the projected year in which the budget “busts.”

The game uses data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to assess the impact of various policy changes. Players can choose up to three badges that reflect their budget priorities, such as defense, health and wellness, green initiatives, or several others. The fun, interactive game allows participants to experiment with government investments and budget cuts and then compare their results to others’.

Students can get a sense of the financial scale of some initiatives versus others, and they can learn about the difficulties of balancing the federal budget by reviewing the numbers involved. Classes can compare their solutions and debate the best measures for successful fiscal policy. At a time when the government’s budget has grabbed the public’s attention, why not take the opportunity to teach students about math with this highly relevant topic?

Just a point of information, the company that created Budget Hero is "360KID" not "360 Kids". Also, 360KID has developed a handful of products for Tom Snyder and Scholastic over the years, most recently Do The Math. :)

Scott Traylor
CEO
360KID
http://www.360KID.com/
Posted @ Thursday, August 04, 2011 8:15 AM by Scott Traylor
Thank you for identifying the error Scott! It's been corrected
Posted @ Monday, August 08, 2011 1:21 PM by Harry Houghton

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