For the third consecutive year, Mount Hebron High School, from Ellicott City, outscored student teams from around the United States to win both divisions of the 21st Annual National Economics Challenge (NEC), sponsored by the Council for Economic Education (CEE).

The school emerged atop the 375 schools that participated. More than 10,000 students competed nationwide in the NEC, the country’s only economics competition for high school students. The Challenge was held entirely online due to COVID-19.

The competition recognizes exceptional high school students for their knowledge of economic principles and their ability to apply problem-solving and critical-thinking skills to real-world events.

Students advance from NEC state-level competitions to a final quiz bowl and critical thinking presentation on an economic issue and problem by competing in one of two divisions depending on their level of experience. The Adam Smith division is for advanced placement, baccalaureate and honors students as well as any returning competitors; the David Ricardo division is for students participating in the NEC for the first time and who have taken no more than one economics course.

The Challenge also included an international round featuring a quiz bowl between the top U.S teams and China’s winners from CEE’s NEC: International managed by its exclusive partner in China, SKT Education. Four thousand Chinese students participated in the Challenge in China, with 192 advancing to the worldwide finals. Mount Hebron High School also won the international quiz bowl in both the David Ricardo and Adam Smith divisions competing against Xi’an Gaoxin No.1 High School-International Course Center and Shanghai Starriver Bilingual School.

Steve Liesman, senior economics reporter for CNBC, emceed the U.S. competition, and Karen Finerman, CEO of Metropolitan Capital Advisors and panelist on CNBC’s Fast Money, hosted the China competition.