2021–2022 Modeling the Future Challenge Recap

May 9, 2022

The Actuarial Foundation is excited to share that the 2021–2022 Modeling the Future Challenge was a great success! This was the fifth year of the Challenge — a national scholarship competition aimed at introducing the actuarial profession to high school students — which was developed in partnership with the Institute of Competition Sciences (ICS).

There were a record number of teams (197) that registered and completed Phase One of the 2021–2022 Modeling the Future Challenge. Of that initial group, only 54 students from 13 finalist teams made it to this year’s Virtual Symposium to present their final projects to the panel of actuary judges and participate in career sessions, presentations from industry experts and other group activities that were created in partnership with our generous corporate supporters and volunteers.

During the Virtual Symposium’s Opening Ceremony on May 3, Founding Sponsor Roy Goldman kicked off the event by welcoming the participants and congratulating them on their great work and accomplishments this year. He also provided background on the Challenge and its goals, and he shared how it has grown significantly over the past five years to truly become a premier academic competition for high school students.

Then, Modeling the Future Challenge Chair Melissa Hollis, FSA, MAAA, shared a real-world example of risk evaluation in group dental insurance. Watch the video below to learn how the Actuarial Process can be applied to forecast dental insurance utilization and the associated costs.


The Opening Session concluded with the Ask the Actuary session, where students were split up into smaller groups and given the opportunity to ask questions of four actuaries.

On May 4, the judging sessions were held. Teams were tasked with analyzing historic data and making models following the Actuarial Process, a five-step framework, similar to the scientific method, that lays out the core structure of how to successfully identify, analyze and manage risks. Some of the topics the finalist teams selected for their models included:

The panel of actuary judges was blown away by the reports and presentations. “I had the opportunity to read all the papers and watch all the videos, and they were all incredibly inspiring and taught us something new,” said Hollis, who also served as a judge.

Ultimately, The Supermodel-ers from Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL, clinched first place for their project that explored the costs and solutions to homicides in the city of Chicago and received a $25,000 scholarship that will be shared among the winning team members. The second, third and fourth place teams also received scholarship awards of $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000, respectively.

Congratulations to all of the 2021–2022 Modeling the Future Challenge participants! This year’s event was made possible with the generous support of Pathfinder Sponsor RGA Foundation, Pacesetter Sponsors Lincoln Financial Group, and Principal Foundation, Builder Sponsors Nationwide, Helen & James C. Galt and Rick & Beth Jones, and Founding Sponsors Roy & Georgia Goldman.