2015-2016 Academic WorldQuest | High School | Program Information


2015-2016 Tennessee Academic WorldQuest Champions – Martin Luther King, Jr., Magnet HS, Nashville, TN
Teacher/Coach: Catherine Kelly; Regan Goodrich; Kevin Gomez; Jocelyn Hartley; April Townson; and Assistant Coach Elizabeth Ashwood.

Academic WorldQuest

Academic WorldQuest is the flagship youth education program of the Tennessee World Affairs Council (TN WAC) and the national network of World Affairs Councils. It is a team game testing high school students’ knowledge of international affairs.

The TN WAC is organizing a WorldQuest competition for Tennessee high school students to encourage global affairs awareness education.  The Council will assist teams in preparation and organize two matches: a fall match on NOVEMBER 21, 2015 AND the state championship match, hosted at Belmont University FEBRUARY 21, 2016.  The winning team in Tennessee will advance to the National Championship match in Washington on APRIL 23, 2016, with transportation and lodging provided by the Tennessee World Affairs Council.




  • NOW – pledge your team to the Academic WorldQuest competition.  Pledge Form Here
  • November 21, 2015 – Academic Fall WorldQuest Match, Belmont University – 1:00 p.m. – A great chance for your team to sharpen their skills and readiness in a warmup match.
  • February 1, 2016 – Team registration deadline. Pledge form must be in hand at the TN WAC.

  • February 21, 2016 – Academic Tennessee WorldQuest Championship Finals, Belmont University, Wedgwood Academic Center – 1:00 p.m. (Semi-finals will be scheduled if the number of teams signed up exceeds single event capacity.)
  • April 23, 2016 — National Championship Match, Washington, DC




Getting Started

This web site provides all of the information and materials necessary to start a team. However, feel free to contact the TN WAC at any time for assistance.

What you need is four high school students committed to following through the preparations and available to participate in the State Championship match and to travel to Washington, DC for the APRIL 23, 2016 National Championship, if a winner in the state match. You also need a coach/chaperone to coordinate the team’s preparation and participation.

Establish study and practice routines for the team. Review the sample questions from previous national championship matches (available on the TN WAC web site) to become familiar with the style and level of difficulty to be expected in the competitions. Contact the TN WAC office for updates on the Academic WorldQuest program and resources, and assistance. Sign up through the TN WAC web site for the email list — be sure to check the Academic WorldQuest news item from among the email options.



Rules and Regulations

A team consists of four primary teammates who are currently high school students (freshman – senior year). No more than four players per team will be able to compete in the competition. Teams may designate alternate teammates to replace one or more of the four primary teammates in the case of sickness or other circumstances which would prevent one of the four primary teammates from competing in the Tennessee Championship competition. Please note that the TN WAC may be unable to send alternate teammates to accompany the primary team to the National Competition. Once the State Championship match has begun, no substitutions of alternate teammates may be made. Teams of less than four are allowed to compete, but strongly discouraged. If the winning team from the State Championship match is unable to compete in the National Competition and has no alternate teammates, the second place team may compete in its place.   If there are too many teams to be accommodated by the venue the Tennessee World Affairs Council may arrange semifinal matches to produce an appropriate number of teams for the championship match.

Team Composition

Teams consist of four high school age students and need not be from the same school. Home school students are eligible to participate with teammates from high schools or teams formed with other home school students. There is no limit to the number of teams that can be organized in any individual school.  The Council wishes to make the WorldQuest experience available to as many students as possible. Contact the Council with questions about eligibility. The Council will be the final authority in determining participants’ eligibility.


2015-16 Categories

This year’s categories focus on the most critical global and U.S. foreign policy issues:

  • NATO
  • Asia Matters for America
  • International Trade and Finance
  • Sultanate of Oman
  • Privacy in the Digital Age
  • The Arctic
  • Food Security
  • Organization of American States
  • Current Events One [Note 1]
  • Current Events Two

Notes: The study guide identifies the source materials for AWQ questions for eight topic areas. The Great Decisions and Current Events questions are drawn from other sources.

1.  Current Events – For the Tennessee competitions, the emphasis will be: on the Oct 1-Nov 21 period for the Fall match and on the Nov 21, 2015-Feb 16, 2016 period for the State Championship Match.

For the National Competition, the emphasis will be on the first months of 2016 and late 2015.

For the Tennessee competitions you can keep up with international events through most mainstream news sources. However, you can keep up with the sources we use for Tennessee match questions by following @TNWAC on Twitter. The hashtag #tnwacquiz will be used for news items that are open to be sources for Tennessee AWQ questions.

In general, we recommend reading a variety of reputable national and international news sources for the National Championship Match.

2. Great Decisions is an annual program about critical international issues issued by the Foreign Policy Association, a member of the World Affairs Councils of America. The Great Decisions 2015 Briefing Book is required study material for the program.


This year’s Great Decisions categories are: Russia and the Near Abroad; Privacy in the Digital Age; Sectarianism in the Middle East; India Changes Course; U.S. Policy Toward Africa; Syria’s Refugee Crisis; Human Trafficking; and Brazil in Metamorphosis.


Study Guide

A study guide is provided by the World Affairs Councils of America [Link Here] with detailed resources on each of these categories. All questions for the competition are drawn from the resources in this study guide.

Practice Round

UPDATE: A match WAS held November 21st at Belmont University.


A fee of $80 per team is requested to cover the costs of event hosting and competition materials. The Tennessee World Affairs Council will provide transportation and lodging for the State Championship winning team to travel to Washington for the National Championship match on APRIL 23, 2016.

What are the benefits?

Aside from allowing your team to prove that they are the most knowledgeable students in their school, their state, or their nation, they have the opportunity to win a trip to Washington, DC to compete in the National Academic WorldQuest contest. The Tennessee World Affairs Council will sponsor the Tennessee Championship WorldQuest team in Washington including transportation and lodging. The Council will also set up visits to Washington sites and organizations dealing in foreign affairs, such as embassies, think tanks and so forth depending on availability. [In the past these visits have included meeting with US Senators and Congressmen from Tennessee, foreign embassies, the World Bank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and other centers of interest for global affairs enthusiasts.

Prizes for the 2016 national competition:

WACA is excited to announce that the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) has become an official AWQ sponsor this year. CIEE also will increase its summer study-abroad scholarship awards to $20,000 total, to be divided among the four students of the champion team and the four runners-up at The Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2016 Academic WorldQuest National Competition.
AWQ 2016 Champion Team: $3,000 Scholarship/student
Second-Place Team: $2000 Scholarship/student
Prizes for the Tennessee State Championship match will be announced.


The Carlos and Malú Alvarez 2016 Academic WorldQuest National Competition Details
April 23, 2016
National Press Club, Washington, DC 
Hotel Block:
The World Affairs Councils of America will arrange lodging in Washington.
Event Details:
The newly named Carlos and Malu Alvarez Academic WorldQuest National Competition honors the tremendous dedication and philanthropic support of WACA National Board member Carlos Alvarez and his wife to our flagship program and the Academic WorldQuest Endowment Fund. (For information on making a gift to the AWQ Fund, please visit our website to AWQ donation page, which needs to be specific about AWQ giving.
The national competition is attended by more than 225 of the nation’s most promising high school students, along with their parents, teachers, and chaperones. The 3-hour AWQ 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.

Sounds great! What do I need to do to sign up?

Fill out the registration form and mail it to the Tennessee World Affairs Council with a check or money order for the registration fee of $80. Team registration forms must be in the hands of the TN WAC by February 1, 2016. All teams will be sent a confirmation email as soon as their registration form and payment are received. If you do not receive confirmation by February 2, 2016 contact the Council.  [LINK TO REGISTRATION FORM]

Send registration and payment to:
Tennessee World Affairs Council
c/o 309 Church Street, #107.
Nashville, TN 37201

For more information contact the Tennessee Academic WorldQuest chair at info@TNWAC.org or Patrick Ryan (email: PatRyan@TNWAC.org / Cell: 931-261-2353)

Registration Fee Payment OnLine

The registration fee can be paid online through the TNWAC Paypal account. You can use major credit cards or a Paypal account — use care in selecting the appropriate payment method. Click “Buy Now” link below.

Please make sure you complete and submit a registration form even if you make payment online. Indicate on the form that you have paid online. Thank you!

Sponsors and Donors

The Tennessee World Affairs Council is able to bring these important programs to our communities and schools through the generosity of our members and the community. Please contact us if you would like to be a sponsor of Academic WorldQuest. To make a donation CLICK HERE.

The Tennessee World Affairs Council has been granted charity status in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by U.S. law.


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