European Union Educators’ Summit Panel Includes Kathleen Brennan

Michelle H. Daino
Kathleen Brennan, Mathematics Department Chairperson, was invited to serve as a panelist during the European Union Educators’ Summit on November 13 and 14 at the European Delegation to the United States in Washington, D.C.
“I was asked to attend as a panelist of the “Alumni Fireside Chat” led by Amy Medearis (Senior Advisor to the U.S. Executive Director, International Monetary Fund) because I have been the coach of Euro Challenge teams at the Mount since the program began in 2005,” she said, “and they wanted me to share why it is a valuable activity for students.”
Mount Saint Mary Academy’s 2022 Euro Challenge team edged out four other finalists in the competition on May 19 with their topic of Gender Inequality in Germany. Teams from Princeton, NJ, Charlotte, NC, Washington D.C. and New York, NY rounded out the finalists.

“Euro Challenge is a national competition for 9th and 10th grade students with participants from across the country. The goal of the summit was to expand the program, and to network and share ideas with educators and representatives from the European Commission. I learned a lot about the history of the European Union and the importance of educating our students about the strong relationship between the United States and the European Union,” added Ms. Brennan.
“Euro Challenge helps students learn about current economic issues by challenging them to do a deep dive into how to address an economic issue in a country that uses the Euro. Students hone their research and data analysis skills, learn how to work as a team, and defend their research with a 15-minute oral presentation.  The Q&A period is particularly impressive. It’s so amazing to see young students think on their feet to formulate and articulate well-thought-out answers,” she said. “The value of the program is long lasting.  Regardless of the career path my team members ultimately choose, they always say that the Euro Challenge was an amazing and valuable part of their high school experience.”
“Our students develop confidence and are empowered as Euro Challenge team members,” continued Ms. Brennan. “You see them develop their sense of self, particularly in their ability to present an argument and defend their research. The goal is to develop students into critical thinkers and to me that is one of the biggest advantages of participating in the program. As much as it’s nice to be a winning team, the real value is that students learn that they can tackle real-world economic problems and pose solutions that are feasible and realistic.  It truly is a win-win for all who are involved!”
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