Academic WorldQuest
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Academic WorldQuest

Join us for this fun and free event, where students, as a team, answer questions on various international topics. The tournament is open to teams of four students in grades 9-12, plus a faculty sponsor, from Kansas City-area high schools. Study materials are provided in advance.

When: Wednesday, February 19, 2020
4-8 p.m.
Where: UMKC's Pierson Auditorium
5000 Holmes St.
Kansas City, Missouri  64110
United States
Contact: Evan Verploegh

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What is Academic WorldQuest?

Each year since 2006, the IRC has offered high school students the chance to showcase their knowledge of world affairs, geography, history, and world events. Each area high school may enter one team of four students plus a faculty sponsor. Participation is entirely cost-free for schools. The winning team will receive an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the students and their sponsor to participate in the national Academic WorldQuest competition in late April.

Why should schools participate?

Academic WorldQuest offers numerous benefits for students and teachers, including:

  • Exploring global topics and issues that are compatible with and enhance the study of many existing curricula and AP courses
  • Preparing for future international studies and careers in the global economy
  • Interacting with area students and teachers who are interested in global affairs
  • Meeting representatives from area companies and universities and hear about future international opportunities
  • Winning valuable prizes, including gift certificates for many participants and an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the winning team

While only four students from a given school may participate in the competition, entire classes are welcome to use the study materials and explore competition topics together.

2020 Competition Information

The 2020 Academic WorldQuest competition for high school students will be held on Wednesday, February 19, from 4-8 p.m. at UMKC's Pierson Auditorium. Each area high school is invited to register one or more teams of four students plus one faculty sponsor; other students, faculty, parents, or friends are welcome to attend as spectators. Non-school teams (e.g. youth groups) are also acceptable as long as the members attend no more than two different high schools (including home schools).

We will begin with dinner and a presentation before ten rounds of ten questions each on the following topics:

  • U.S.-Russia Relations
  • Country in Focus: South Korea
  • Preventing Extremism in Fragile States
  • Oceans: The World's Garbage Dump
  • Great Decisions
  • Brexit and the EU
  • China's Belt & Road Initiative
  • Germany: 30 Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall
  • Qatar and the Future of the Gulf Cooperation Council
  • Current Events

Students work together to answer the questions, and the team with the most correct answers at the end of the competition are declared the winners. The winning team will represent our region at a national competition in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, April 25.

Registration for the 2020 tournament is now open.


 Sponsors of Academic WorldQuest 


  • Children's Mercy
  • Park University
  • Commerce Bank
  • UMKC