High-school students are invited to put their global knowledge to the test in the annual Academic WorldQuest competition, a flagship program of the World Affairs Councils of America. The 2020 Kansas City–area tournament will be held after school on Wednesday, February 19, at a local university campus. We will announce the location soon.
Registration for the 2020 tournament is now open.
Congratulations to Shawnee Mission East High School,
whose student team represented the Kansas City area
at the 2019 national tournament in Washington, D.C., in late April.
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.
What do participants say about their experience?
"I had a great time, learning about many issues and countries in the world while meeting people who have personal involvement and investment in solving these issues. This experience intensified my passion for international relations." – Kyle from Washburn Rural High School
"I thought it was interesting learning about different perspectives regarding subjects like Turkey and Great Decisions. I think it is important for students to learn and understand about other people different from them. I feel as Americans we live in a bubble." – Ali from Washburn Rural High School
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 a local university campus (to be announced shortly). 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.
2020 Competition Materials
As they become available, we will post materials to help you prepare for the competition. We invite you to use these materials to help you prepare for the 2020 tournament:
2019 Competition Results
Congratulations to the high schools who placed at our local competition on Saturday, February 23, 2019:
- First Place: Shawnee Mission East High School
- Second Place: The Barstow School
- Third Place: Blue Valley West
Shawnee Mission East represented our region at the national event in late April in Washington, D.C.