HISTORY & MISSION
The World Affairs Challenge (WAC)
was created by the Center for Teaching International Relations (CTIR) in 1992
as part of what is now the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. It started as a community outreach program to educate students and teachers about global issues. In 2010, CTIR became an independent 501(c)3 organization continuing the tradition of the WAC.
WAC's vision is that every student will develop awareness, understanding and engage in global issues in a way that leads to positive action in the world.
WAC's mission, through a collaborative problem solving process, is to develop tomorrow’s global leaders.
WAC's goal is to engage middle and high school students in global issues through research, collaborative learning, meaningful community service and exciting interactive competition.
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. The day-long event is held for middle and high school teams and it includes 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 in 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.
THE WAC EXPERIENCE
Teachers serve primarily as coaches and facilitators, helping the students prepare for the day. Students should feel free to take the lead as much as they are able and willing, and should be encouraged to take ownership over their own success. Are you a teacher or know one? Find out how WAC could be ideal for your classroom or club. WHY WAC?
The World Affairs Challenge allows middle and high school students to explore different aspects of international affairs, develop leadership skills, network with various professionals, expand their career goals, and to realize the impact and positive power of their ideas, voices and projects. Are you a student or know one who might be interested? Find out how WAC could transform your educational trajectory. WHY WAC?
FOR THE LOCAL (AND GLOBAL) COMMUNITY
When young people get inspired, motivated and empowered the whole world wins! Individuals may volunteer as mentors, guiding students through their project development. Professionals may sign up to judge and provide constructive feedback to the participants about their presentation skills and ideas, in order to help them improve and grow. Local and international businesses and nonprofits can become community partners to help spread the word about their cause and to give WAC participants hands-on experience. Local businesses can support WAC events through in-kind donations, such as meals. Corporations may support WAC through employee volunteer programs and event sponsorship. With everyone's support, local and international schools and communities are impacted by the students' global education and their local service action. Through WAC, there is a role for everyone interested in promoting global and cultural awareness.
Get involved today!