Lake View students recently took a field trip to the headquarters of Blue Cross Blue Shields of Illinois, located in downtown Chicago at 300 E. Randolph St. The purpose of the field trip was to introduce and explain the actuary sciences to the students. Actuarial science is the discipline that applies mathematical and statistical methods to calculate risk in insurance, as well as finance and other industries and professions. It is central to the insurance industry and is a very lucrative field, with starting salaries for actuaries averaging about $72,000 per year, with a median salary of nearly $100,000 per year. This field trip was a great opportunity for Lake View students to learn about an exciting and in-demand career field.
A group of ten sophomores, juniors, and seniors joined Lake View math teacher Ms. Bae to participate in various activities designed by the Blue Cross employees to educate students about the actuary sciences. Over 100 employees of the Blue Cross held the workshop for over 70 CPS students from high school across Chicago. The students rotated through three activities. In the first, the students engaged in a “speed dating” style session, in which students were paired off with actuaries for ten minutes at a time and were able to interview them about their jobs. In the second, students participated in a Jeopardy-style game show in which the students competed with other students answering questions involving probability and other topics related to the actuary sciences. In the third, students were given some data on different motorists and were asked to act like an actuary scientist and calculate the risk of insuring the given motorists.
Through these activities, the students were able to learn about a very interesting and lucrative career directly from people who are currently working in the field. The students reported that the field trip was very informative and also fun. It was a great introduction to a career path many of them were previously unaware of, and an example of how the students’ expertise in mathematics can translate itself into a high paying career in the future.