Economics Concepts Poster Contest

What is the Economic Concepts Poster Contest? Imaginations generate ideas, and ideas are the engine that drive today's global economy. Econ Illinois’ annual Economic Concepts Poster Contest, a curriculum based art program, challenges students to use their imaginations and creativity as well as their own life experiences to visualize an economic concept and turn it into a colorful illustration. The contest, which ignites creativity and promotes critical thinking, was designed to help students better understand and interpret the economic world around them.

Each year, teachers in grades 1-8, bring economics and personal finance to life as their students learn more about our economy through their participation in this exciting competition. Students first learn some basic economic and financial concepts and then, organize, design, and illustrate their ideas to demonstrate their understanding in an original drawing. Drawings are then entered into one of five regional competitions throughout the state. 

Why participate in the Economic Concepts Poster Contest?

Students actively engage in learning about the economic world in which they live. Integrating art into learning helps students become more actively involved in the material, supporting how students learn best. As students illustrate a concept, it becomes personally meaningful to them. They relate more to the content, helping them to learn better, recall the information more easily and find more enjoyment in what they are learning. This process strengthens their knowledge and deepens their understanding.

Students have the opportunity to achieve recognition and earn awards. Student recognition is key to academic motivation and persistence. Success promotes self-confidence which leads to higher student engagement. The Economic Concepts Poster Contest offers opportunities for teachers and schools to showcase and recognize great student work. Twenty-four winners are selected from each of five regional competitions throughout the state and receive recognition and move on to the state competition. State winners also receive recognition and their drawings are featured in a calendar the following school year.

Meet new IL Social Science standards in Economics and Financial Literacy. In late 2015, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) adopted new Social Science Standards (effective for the 2017-2018 academic year) with the goal of better preparing Illinois students for college and careers. Teachers can implement the new standards in economics and financial literacy by participating in the Economic Concepts Poster Contest. Four concepts, in each of three grade bands, are all aligned to these new Social Science Standards. For more information regarding these standards, download a pdf of the full standards document or visit:

Don’t delay! Help your students perceive the economic world in which they live in new and exciting ways by challenging their imaginations, creativity and critical thinking skills. Visit the Participation page to see the list of regional contests, and for more information about how to enter.