Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Florida LifeSmarts

Important Notice

State Competition: CANCELLED
February 19, 2018  
Florida State Fair, Tampa, FL

LifeSmarts is an educational competition for students that helps them learn to be smart consumers. Participants focus on five key topic areas: consumer rights and responsibilities, the environment, health and safety, personal finance, and technology.  

To learn more about LifeSmarts, select a question below to expand the answer. 

What Does LifeSmarts Teach Teens?

LifeSmarts is a flexible classroom or group activity that teaches teens to be smart and responsible consumers and citizens. LifeSmarts stays current — 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.

The content and competition questions focus on five key areas of consumer knowledge that teens need to know to function effectively in today's marketplace. These areas are:

  • Personal Finance
  • Health and Safety
  • Environment
  • Technology
  • Consumer Rights and Responsibilities

In addition to the important knowledge that participants gain, they also develop teamwork, self-esteem, verbal communication skills and leadership abilities and have fun competing. LifeSmarts changes behavior toward better decision-making and better use of money and resources. It provides teens with a good understanding of their consumer rights and responsibilities. Because many teens begin work during high school, LifeSmarts helps them understand workplace protections too. It teaches them to spot and avoid fraud and scams and to make smart choices. Brochures, booklets, videos, teaching guides, textbooks, websites and other educational resources provided by governmental agencies, businesses, consumer groups and trade associations are the source of this information and can easily be obtained by any consumer.

Who Can Participate?

LifeSmarts is open to all teens in the ninth through 12th grade. The participation of special needs students, exchange students, alternative schools, work-study groups, home school groups, clubs and community organizations is encouraged and welcomed. LifeSmarts is available throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories and American military bases abroad. The program is completely accessible to students with disabilities.

Is There a Fee to Participate?

LifeSmarts is FREE to any group of teenagers and their coach who want to participate. There is no fee or registration cost to participate in LifeSmarts. The players will need a few hours away from school and work for the state competition. If the team advances to the national competition, time away from school should not exceed two days.

How Can I Participate?

Coaches are invited to register and create teams of students in grades 9-12. Students may register and compete online now through December 8, 2017. Each player and team must have an adult coach (18 years or older) and that coach must register for the program through the  National LifeSmarts Program before any team member can play. The coach will be given a team code. Each player on the team must use the team code.

Any number of students may compete online. Each team must have a minimum of four players to compete in the state online competition. It is recommended that five students comprise an in-person team when competing at the national competition. The fifth player will serve as the alternate. Each player will go through a series of three tests that will quiz their consumer awareness. After they complete round one, they may immediately start round two. Or if they prefer, they may come back and take round two another time. Just remember, they must complete all three rounds to qualify for the team. Students can expect the quizzes to get more difficult as they progress. Once a player passes a quiz, they can immediately take the next level quiz. Or they can wait to take the quiz at a later time.

The top players from each team will be identified and the coach will be notified. Top scoring teams from the online competition will be invited to compete at the state finals competition, which will be held at the Florida State Fair in Tampa, Florida, on Monday, February 19, 2018. The state winning team will be invited to represent Florida at the national competition. The national competition will be held April 21-24, 2018, in San Diego, California. All travel expenses to the national competition will be covered by the University of Florida/IFAS Extension 4-H Youth Development program. Any person traveling to compete at the National Competition will be required to sign a permission and release form.