World Affairs Challenge
World Affairs Challenge is a program dedicated to developing tomorrow’s global leaders. Through ongoing mentoring, education, and competition, WAC identifies middle-school and high-school students who are passionate about world affairs and helps engage them in developing solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. Through WAC, students move from awareness to action while developing skills in collaboration, communication, cognitive complexity, and problem-solving.
The centerpiece of WAC is an annual competition each spring when students present the work they have been doing for the past academic year. Student teams present a real-world problem and a proposed solution. Business executives, university professors, and non-profit leaders judge the presentations, rating teams on understanding and knowledge of the problem, cultural awareness and incorporation of diversity of thought, complexity of the problem and solution, originality, teamwork and communication skills.
WAC is not merely a one-day competition. As students form teams, they are mentored by individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations in the community to help foster their understanding of global issues and opportunities. That mentoring can last a year or longer. And following the competition, students are connected to a network of universities and organizations where they can continue their development into global thinkers, doers, and leaders.
This year, students will focus their presentations on concrete challenges that fall under the main theme:
Water, water, water!
This theme allows students to research and present on a wide range of topics. In addition to a Formal Presentation, students participate in the Collaborative Question, a problem-solving simulation, based on a real-world crisis, with students from other schools. Prior to the tournament day, students also take a quiz on global events and geography
The World Affairs Challenge especially seeks to engage students from under-served schools in learning about global affairs. Over 1/3 of registered teams past events came from the national AVID program, designed to assist students from low-income and minority families prepare for and attend college. CTIR is working with the Denver Council on Foreign Relations and the World Affairs Council of Colorado Springs and others to offer team scholarships to offset the costs of participating to as many schools as possible. Scholarships are available on a limited basis with demonstrated financial need.
Check out these examples from years past of a Formal Presentation and a Collaborative Question in progress!