The World Affairs Challenge is a competition for middle and high school students working in teams to research, analyze, and propose action to contemporary world issues. The Challenge encourages multidisciplinary study of subjects from social studies, world history, geography, economics, foreign language, and science.
Teams of up to twelve students work for up to three months on a specific topic narrowed from a theme annually chosen for the competition. The program culminates in a creative presentation of the topic in March at the World Affairs Challenge hosted in San Francisco.
Participants gain knowledge of contemporary world issues and events, learn to communicate and collaborate effectively within their teams and with students from different schools, and have the ability to express their thoughts and teach others through creative and informative presentations.
The theme for 2009 is Six Billion on the Move: Human Migration in a Global Society.
The San Francisco Challenge will take place on March 14, 2009 at San Francisco State University. (The Minnesota Challenge will take place on April 25 on Macalester College.)
There are four events on the day of the Challenge:
- Formal Presentation: Students present their research, analysis, and proposed action in a creative 15 minute presentation with a format of their choice, ranging from skits to simulations.
- Global Awareness Quiz: A short 50 question, 30 minute multiple choice test that assesses students' knowledge of world geography, world current events, and the annual theme.
- Collaborative Question: Participants are organized randomly into new teams with students from other schools, presented with a real world scenario, and asked to formulate a plan that addresses the situation.
- Poster: A visual representation of the teams' Formal Presentations.