Student Forecasting Tournaments: A Gamified DE Learning Experience

November 1st, 2023

At the Alliance for Decision Education, part of our work is to explore interesting ways to bring Decision Education into classrooms. For the 2022–2023 school year, the Alliance hosted the Student Forecasting Tournament to improve students’ decision-making skills by practicing forecasting. We teamed up with Good Judgment, a leading organization specializing in the field of building forecasting accuracy, to offer this exciting, gamified learning opportunity for students. Forecasting is a method of making informed predictions based on current and historical data and trends. Being able to think through the likelihood of various outcomes is a key component of making a decision, and our forecasting tournament aimed to support students in developing this important skill. From learning how and where to find relevant and accurate research to understanding base rates and thinking probabilistically, we are interested in exploring forecasting tournaments as a method of bringing key concepts of Decision Education to more students.

The 10-week online tournament brought eight schools, 71 teams, and 255 middle and high school students together to compete in a five-round competition with prizes awarded to the top three teams. In each round, students were challenged to predict the outcomes of various questions related to current events in popular culture, such as the likelihood that a new movie would bring in a certain amount of money at the weekend box office or predicting the price of gas on a given day in the coming weeks. Students provided their rationales and made their best estimations of the probability that the event would or would not occur. Once students submitted their forecasts and the actual results of these real-life scenarios came in, teams were ranked according to their average Brier score—a calculated number that measures the accuracy of a probabilistic forecast. (Find out more about Brier scores and how they are calculated here.)

“I really liked the team aspect of the forecasting tournament, as we were able to explore different opinions and share research with our friends,” said an 11th-grade student forecaster. “I was able to learn a lot from different perspectives, and I really enjoyed the in-depth discussions.”

The top three winning teams were “Willie the Pooh” and “Limit DNE” from Stuyvesant High School in New York City, New York, and “Birds” from Lincoln College Preparatory Academy in Kansas City, Missouri. Each student on the winning teams received a $500 scholarship, and their schools each received a cash prize as well. 

Learn more about forecasting tournaments below, and stay tuned to the Alliance blog for the latest updates.

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