While the World Affairs Challenge (WAC) is a year-long enterprise that enhances the capacity of youth to think and act globally, the centerpiece of WAC is its annual spring competition. Separate, day-long events, are held for middle and high school teams that include guest speakers, introductions to local and international organizations, and a wide variety of engaging activities. Panels of judges provide feedback as each team presents their own innovative, collaborative, and holistic solution to a given real-world problem at their formal presentation. A key component of the day is the collaborative question (CQ) session in which teams of students from different schools are required to develop a solution to a problem related to the WAC''s annual theme. Prior to event-day, students take a global awareness quiz that contributes to their team’s score in the competition.
This innovative academic program enhances students' knowledge of international relations and encourages them to apply their understanding of history, geography, civics, economics, cultural awareness and language to current world problems.
Teams usually begin working on their WAC project anywhere from 3-6 months in advance of the competition, but teams are allowed to register up to 8 weeks prior to the main event. The WAC staff supports the teachers, students and mentors, throughout their entire WAC experience, as the teams turn their proposed solutions into real community action, whether at home or abroad.