Academic WorldQuest™

Academic WorldQuest™

Congratulations to the outstanding students from the Harmony School of Science for their first place finish at the Austin Regional Academic WorldQuest Competion on February 22, 2020. 

Winning teams from the Austin metropolitan area (Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties) have placed in the top seven at the national competition, and as high as 4th place in America!

The Austin regional AWQ competition will take place from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm on Saturday February 20, 2021.  The partner organizations for the competition are the World Affairs Council of Austin, the Center for European Studies, and Hemispheres: The International Outreach Consortium at the University of Texas at Austin.

Each team is comprised of currently enrolled students from the same high school.  Please return here in the Fall to register your high school team for the Austin regional competition.   We look forward to a wonderful school year, and wish all our educators and students the best of luck!

What is the Academic WorldQuest™?
One of the greatest challenges facing our nation and schools across the country is preparing our youth for the interconnected world of the 21st century. America’s ability to face economic and security challenges, and seize new opportunities is dependent on an educated and informed workforce. Academic WorldQuest™ is a unique opportunity to expose our youth to the world outside our borders and prepare them for unanticipated challenges and opportunities.

Academic WorldQuest™ is a team competition testing competitors’ knowledge of international affairs, geography, history, and culture. Participants come from high schools that collaborate with World Affairs Councils throughout the USA.

Why It Is Important
Academic WorldQuest™ prepares the next generation of American decision makers and opinion leaders to thrive in tomorrow’s world. Our national interests are deeply intertwined with those of the greater global community.  This new reality requires that we close the gap in students’ knowledge about global affairs and restore American excellence in science and math. Research has exposed some troubling signs. American science and math students  are performing well below students in other developed nations. American students are also lacking in basic knowledge of US history, world history, international geography and global issues. The mission of Academic WorldQuest™ is to help close this gap.

Program Structure
Approximately 4,000 high school students across the country participate in local competitions hosted by over 40 local World Affairs Councils in 26 states.  Local teams are provided a study guide with detailed resources on each of the categories.  The study guide helps students and teachers as they prepare for the regional and national competitions. All questions for the competitions are drawn from the resources in the study guide.

The victorious regional teams are invited to represent their high school, city, and local council at the National Academic WorldQuest™ Competition held in Washington, DC.  Every Spring, this special weekend in the nation’s capitol includes substantive programming designed to enhance each participant’s learning experience.

Teachers – Coaching a Team is Easy

  • Assemble a team of 4 students, with 1 or 2 alternates.
  • Register for the Austin regional competition.
  • After registration, the AWQ study guide is made available to you to help the students prepare for the AWQ competition topics.
  • Attend the Austin regional competion with your team.  The competition is  held on a Saturday morning from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.

2020-2021 AWQ Topics

  • Global Protests
  • Shifting Sands: The Arab Spring 10 Years On
  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • The U.S. Foreign Service in the 21st Century
  • Great Decisions
    • Climate Change and the Global Order
    • India and Pakistan
    • Rea Sea Security
    • Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
    • U.S. Relations with the Northern Triangle
    • China’s Road into Latin America
    • The Philippines and the U.S.
    • Artificial Intelligence and Data
  • Country in Focus: Uzbekistan
  • Exploring Peace in a World of Conflict
  • Fraying Alliances
  • Looking to a Post-Pandemic Economy
  • Current Events


Academic WorldQuest Teams with Austin Mayor Steve Adler

To make a tax-deductible contribution to  the World Affairs Council of Austin’s regional competition, click on the DONATE button on the top of this page.  Alternatively, the World Affairs Council of Austin has an Amazon Smile account.

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