Established in 1994, LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League. LifeSmarts, the ultimate consumer challenge, is an educational opportunity for students in 6th-12th grade. This competition prepares students to enter the real world as smart adult consumers. Participants focus on five key topic areas: consumer rights and responsibilities, the environment, health and safety, personal finance, and technology.
Teams of High School students, supported by adult coaches, represent their states or national student leadership organizations to compete for the National LifeSmarts Championship. Students take individual assessments, complete team problem-solving activities such as “Speed Dating the Experts,” and compete in four quiz bowl matches. Throughout competition students gain points for correctly answering questions about cybersecurity, credit reports, recycling, nutrition, consumer fraud, and much more.
LifeSmarts stays current by expanding its content, competitions, and consumer knowledge. LifeSmarts complements the curriculum already in place in middle- and high schools and can be used as an activity for classes, groups, clubs, and community organizations. LifeSmarts also aligns with national education standards.
Students who participate in the program begin competition online. The highest scoring teams are invited to in-person live state championships. Statewide competitions are locally coordinated by state partnering organizations and agencies. In states without a state coordinator, NCL hosts a virtual state championship. State winners are invited to the National LifeSmarts Championship held in a different city every April.