Thirty Idaho students, teachers and professors will be in China June 10-20 for an economic study tour. Leon Maynard, president of the Idaho Council on Economic Education (ICEE), is leading the group. The ICEE is housed at Boise State under the auspices of the colleges of Education and Business and Economics.
Maynard traveled to China ahead of the main group as part of Gov. Butch Otter’s trade mission. He has had several opportunities to meet with companies, government officials and educational institutions to deepen the economic and educational ties between China, Idaho and Boise State.
The highlight of the study tour is participation in the International Economic Summit competition, an activity-based learning program for high school and university students that teaches the concepts of globalization, economics, world affairs and international cooperation. Begun 15 years ago in Idaho, the program has since expanded to include schools in California, New York, New England and other locations around the U.S.
The summit came to China as a result of many years of cooperation and partnership between the State of Idaho, the City of Shanghai, the Luwan District Department of Education and Shanghai’s Xiang Ming High School.
In 2008, teachers and administrators from 30 top Chinese high schools received training in the program and 350 Chinese students participated in a summit at Xiang Ming High. That school will again play host to this year’s summit on June 12.
During the summit, students will be divided into 100 country teams. Each team is charged with the task of improving its country’s standard of living within the simulated economy. Teams compete and cooperate in activities including import and export trading, forming regional trade alliances, borrowing and repaying development loans and more.
In addition to the summit, participants will learn first-hand about the Chinese economy and have an opportunity to visit the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and other cultural sites.
To read more about this program see the Idaho Statesman’s article “Rocky Barker in China: BSU program brings trade education to Chinese, Idaho students in Shanghai“.