TN WAC Launches 2013 Academic WorldQuest for High School Students

Join the Quest!

This year marks the 3rd Tennessee Academic WorldQuest competition and the 11th Annual competition among the network of World Affairs Councils of America. This year’s categories focus on the “Six Top National Security Issues” facing the President in 2013 as voted on by leaders of the World Affairs Councils across the country: US Education: Competing Globally; US Energy Policy; US Economic Competitiveness; the Middle East; Afghanistan/Pakistan; and China.

Also included are: UN Millennium Goals: Environmental Sustainability, as part of our yearly selection from the Millennium Goals leading up to 2015; Cuban Missile Crisis: 50th Anniversary; Geography; and Current Events, a yearly category.

All questions for both the Tennessee and national competitions are drawn from the Academic WorldQuest Study Guide.  We suggest you subscribe to the Tennessee World Affairs Council’s email newsletter lists for both “General Info” and for “WorldQuest Info.”  Just click on the “Subscribe” button on the web site.

Read more below about Academic WorldQuest and check these items for all the details you need to organize a team and to compete:

Academic WorldQuest

What is it?

Academic WorldQuest is the flagship youth education program of the Tennessee World Affairs Council and the national network of World Affairs Councils. It is a team game testing high school students’ knowledge of international affairs. In the game, four-person teams compete by answering multiple-choice and fill-in the blank questions divided into ten unique and engaging thematic categories. Academic WorldQuest is unique to the world affairs council system and has no direct competitor among K-12 knowledge-based competitions in the US or abroad.  The Tennessee World Affairs Council organizes an annual State Championship match hosted at Belmont University. The winning team advances to the National Championship hosted by the World Affairs Councils of America national office in Washington, DC with transportation and lodging provided by TN WAC.  [The TNWAC organizes WorldQuest for university students and for young professionals but a national competition is not available at these levels.]


Academic WorldQuest was created by the Charlotte Council and is now widely played at the adult and high school levels around the country. It is a team game testing competitors’ knowledge of international affairs, geography, history, and culture. The World Affairs Councils of America started the national competition in Washington, DC in March 2003. Participants come from high schools that work with the World Affairs Council network.

Tennessee Academic WorldQuest Champs

The Grand Prize

The first-place team of the Tennessee State WorldQuest Championship will travel to Washington D.C. to compete in the National Academic WorldQuest Competition. The trip is covered for the winning team and one teacher/chaperone by the Tennessee World Affairs Council.

This year’s National Competition will be held on Saturday, April 27, 2013. It is attended by more than 225 of the nation’s most promising students, along with their parents, teachers, and chaperones. The 3-hour competition is a unique opportunity for many students to visit the nation’s capital for the first time. There is a weekend of substantive programming to enhance the experience. Examples of past National Competition weekend activities include embassy receptions, speeches by ambassadors, discussions with experts on competition topics, and cultural activities.

Additional prizes for the Tennessee State Championship match will be announced.

Why Academic WorldQuest is Important

With funding for school programs other than “basics” falling away, the opportunities for high school students to learn geography, world history, and world affairs have dwindled to almost nothing in American high schools while globalization and interdependence continues to knit the world more closely together each passing day and year.

The Tennessee World Affairs Council does a lot to counter this trend already through its programs: distinguished visiting speakers; availability of global affairs curriculum units for high schools through our national network; the organizing of teachers’ workshops, and the sending abroad of teachers and students. We want to build on our already existing and successful programs that seek to reverse this disturbing trend regarding global affairs awareness education. Toward that end: Academic WorldQuest is a “Game with a Purpose.”

Academic WorldQuest has to be fun, or you’re not doing it right.

Program Structure

The competition is played between 4-person teams who answer rounds of multiple-choice and fill in the blank questions projected onto a screen. The questions test their knowledge of current affairs, world leaders, geography, recent history, flags, international organizations, countries, regions, the world economy, culture, religion, and more. A full competition is 100 questions, 10 rounds of 10 questions per round. The winning team is the team with the highest number of right answers.

Approximately 3000 students across the country participate in local competitions hosted by over 40 local World Affairs Councils in 26 states. Winning teams are invited to represent their high school and the Tennessee World Affairs Council at the national competition, held in the spring each year in Washington, DC. [April 27, 2013]

The national Academic WorldQuest competition is attended by more than 225 of the nation’s most promising students, along with their parents, teachers, and chaperones. The 3-hour competition is a unique opportunity for many students to visit the nation’s capital for the first time. There is a weekend of substantive programming to enhance the experience.

Teams from all over Tennessee compete.

2012 Competition

The Tennessee World Affairs Council congratulates the 2012 Tennessee Academic WorldQuest Championship team from Montgomery-Bell Academy in Nashville:

  • Jake Simons
  • John Mellow
  • McKay Proctor
  • Will Stewart
  • Teacher/Coach: Annie B. Williams
2012 Tennessee Academic WorldQuest Champions: Montgomery Bell Academy, Nashville - (L-R) TNWAC President Patrick Ryan, MBA Coach Annie B. Williams, John Mellow, Jake Simons, TNWAC Board Members/Judges, Amber Barno and Danielle Rovelli, McKay Proctor, Will Stewart, and TNWAC Board Member/Judge Dr. Jeff Overby.

We congratulate all the teams that competed for the Tennessee State Championship title.

Cookeville High School, Cookeville, TN

  • Colleen Ryan
  • Varsha Srinivasan
  • Will Gabelman
  • Teacher/Coach: Connie Ryan

Hillsboro High School, Nashville, TN

  • Thor Frantz
  • Braxton Bakerfield
  • Max Hackenbrack
  • Isaac Saffold
  • Teacher/Coach: Adrian Bahan

Martin Luther King, Jr., Magnet High School, Nashville, TN

  • Catherine Caffey
  • Joseph LaPosata
  • Rohan Nag
  • Guangze Zhang
  • Teacher/Coach: Dr. Sue Gilmore

Stratford STEM Magnet High School, Nashville, TN

  • Logan Campbell Smith
  • Nikita Bhavsar
  • Ivy Obeng
  • Awes Hussein
  • Teacher/Coach: James Taormina

Congratulations to the winners of the 10th annual (2012) Academic WorldQuest National Championship

The World Affairs Councils of America’s 10th Annual Academic WorldQuest National Competition was a great success! The weekend included a reception at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China where Ambassador Zhang Yesui gave his observations on the US-China relationship, a reception at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, and an exciting, down to the wire Academic WorldQuest National Competition complete with a sudden death tiebreaker round. Be sure to check out photos from the competition weekend on the World Affairs Councils of America Facebook page.

  • First Place: Plano Senior High School – WAC of Dallas/Ft. Worth
  • Second Place: Keystone School – WAC of San Antonio
  • Third Place: Walpole High School – WorldBoston
  • Fourth Place: Desert Christian Academy – World Affairs Council of the Desert

The inaugural Academic WorldQuest match (2009) in Tennessee was won by a team from Martin Luther King, Jr., Magnet High School, in Nashville.

The 2009 Tennessee Academic WorldQuest Champions from Nashville's Martin Luther King, Jr., Magnet High School: (L-R) Cody Simons, Kannan Raju, Will Scheving and Jordan Willis.

Leave a Reply