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 2021 Kansas City–area tournament was held virtually on Thursday, March 4th at 3:00 p.m. CST.

Please check below to find out the topics of 2022 Competition

Congratulations to Bishop Seabury Academy, whose team won the 2021 Academic WorldQuest. 

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. Area high 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. 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

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.

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

“Thanks to the IRC for putting on a fun and exciting competition! All of my students had a blast. We look forward to next year!” – Ms. Czarnecki from Bishop Seabury Academy

2022 Competition Materials

As they become available, we will post materials to help you prepare for the competition. Here is the list of topic that this year’s competition will cover:

  • Where Climate and Migration Meet
  • Afghanistan: End of the 20-Year U.S.-Led Intervention
  • Human-Centered Agenda to the Future of Work
  • CDC and the Global Health Agenda
  • Technology and Democracy: Threat or Promise?
  • Great Decisions
-Global Supply Chains and National Security
-Persian Gulf Security Issues
-Brexit and the European Union
-Struggles Over the Melting Arctic
-China’s Role in Africa
-The Korean Peninsula
-Roles of International Organizations in a Global Pandemic
-The End of Globalization?

  • 21st Century Money: Dollars to Digital Currencies
  • Working for Peace Through Legacies of War: The Case of Vietnam
  • Insecurity in China’s Neighborhood
  • Current Events

    We invite you to use these materials to help you prepare for the 2021 tournament:

    2022 Competition Sponsors

    Thank you for the generous support from our Sustaining Sponsor, the Overland Park Walmart Superstore in 2021, and to all of our other sponsors for their support of this event. For more information about sponsor packages of 2022, which support our programming and increase your visibility and impact, please contact Matthew Hughes.

    Overland Park Walmart Supercenter
    Overland Park Walmart SupercenterSustaining Sponsor
    Commerce BankSupporting Sponsor
    University of Kansas International AffairsAcademic Sponsor
    Overland Park Walmart Neighborhood MarketSupporting Sponsor
    Roeland Park Walmart SupercenterAcademic Sponsor

    Past Winners

    Congratulations to the following schools for their admirable performance in the Academic WorldQuest competition:

    2021 · Bishop Seabury Academy

    2020 · Bishop Seabury Academy

    2019 · Shawnee Mission East High School

    2018 · Blue Valley North High School

    2017 · Washburn Rural High School

    2016 · Shawnee Mission South High School

    2015 · Rockhurst 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