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High school students are invited to put their global knowledge to the test in the International Relations Council’s Annual Academic WorldQuest competition, a flagship program of the World Affairs Councils of America.

The 2023 Kansas City tournament will be held on Saturday, April 1, from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the KU Edwards Campus. The National Competition will be held in Washington D.C. on April 28-29.

School Registration Schedule:

For schools that only wish to register one team, registration will remain open from October 13 to March 13. Schools that would like to register more than one team can do so according to the periods below.

First Team: October 13 to December 1

Second Team: December 1 to  January 13

Third Team: January 13 to March 13

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. Teams compete by answering ten multiple choice questions in ten different rounds. Each round has questions about topics that are determined by the World Affairs Council of America. All of the information that students need to answer competition questions is available  for download in the Official Student Study Guide above.

Each area high schools may register one or more teams of four students, plus a faculty sponsor. Multiple teams from the same school may share a sponsor. Participation is entirely cost-free for schools and 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. The Official Student Study Guide is used for both local and national Academic WorldQuest competitions.

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

There is no cost for schools to register! Schools may register one or more teams of four students plus a faculty sponsor, and multiple teams from the same school may share a sponsor. In addition, entire classes are welcome to use the study materials and explore competition topics together.

Official 2023 Topics:

  • Securing the Future of the World’s Wildlife
  • The Arctic Council: Frozen Cooperation
  • Atrocity Prevention and Accountability
  • Combating Global Food Insecurity
  • Economic Sanctions – A Double-Edged Sword
  • Country in Focus: Ethiopia
  • The Future of Supply Chains
  • Battle of the Century: Autocracy vs. Democracy
  • Current Events
  • Great Decisions
    • Changing Demographics, Outer Space, Climate Change, Russia and the U.S., Myanmar and ASEAN, Quad Alliance, Drug Policy in Latin America, Industrial Policy, Biden’s Agenda

Participating High Schools:

  • The Barstow School
  • Bishop Seabury Academy
  • Blue Valley North High School
  • Blue Valley West High School
  • Kearney High School
  • Lansing High School
  • Lincoln College Preparatory Academy
  • Shawnee Mission East High School
  • Van Horn High School
  • William Chrisman High School

Thank You To Our Sponsors:

University of Kansas International Affairs & Institute for International and Global Engagement
University of Kansas International Affairs & Institute for International and Global EngagementSustaining Sponsor
Rosati's Pizza - Overland Park
Rosati's Pizza - Overland ParkSustaining Sponsor

Past Academic WorldQuest Winners

2022: Bishop Seabury Academy

2021: Bishop Seabury Academy

2019: Shawnee Mission East High School

2018: Blue Valley North High School

2017: Washburn High School

2016: Shawnee Mission South High School

2014: Rockhurst High School

2013: Shawnee Mission North High School

2012: Shawnee Mission East High School

2011: Shawnee Mission South High School

2010: Olathe South High School

2009: Shawnee Mission Center for International Studies

2008: Shawnee Mission East High School

2007: Shawnee Mission East High School

2006: Rockhurst High School