The Academic World Quest (AWQ), organized by the World Affairs Council of America, is a youth education program that provides engaging team competitions for high school students, testing their knowledge of politics, geography, global economics, history and world cultures.
This format encourages students to learn more about the world as a whole, including international matters.
“It’s bringing awareness to various issues in other countries and not necessarily just focusing on local [issues] but worldwide aspects of government, environment and those types of things,” club sponsor and history teacher Jason Gore said.
Meetings focus on social studies and current events to increase understanding of national and international issues. The club also analyzes the different forms of government and global problems, with understanding international relations serving as the main theme of the club.
“It’s mostly about worldwide affairs – issues that are going on around the world that students may not be aware of,” Gore said.
The AWQ Club was successful in securing a team to participate in the competition at the Community School of Naples on March 25, and NHS has even won competitions in previous years. This year’s club, however, has only four members but hopes to grow in the future.
“I would love to have somewhere around twelve to fifteen members so that way you can have groups that help one another out,” Gore said. “You can have internal discussions, debates and things like that. That way, it’s not just one group but many groups of students who are involved in it.”
With more members, the club will not only be able to do more activities but also submit more teams to the competition, allowing students to develop important leadership skills.
“I think it’s a great way to get involved at the school,” Activities Director Trish Hendry said. “When you are involved in different sports and clubs especially, you feel like you belong to something and that you’re a part of the school, and you take pride in that.”
Gaining new perspectives on the world can be an educational and enriching experience.
“Students can gain valuable experience in both working as a team and participating in a competitive academic environment,” club member and freshman Marlon Garcia said.
Interested students can sign up for AWQ during Club Rush at the start of the next school year. Gore hosts the club in room 6-206.
“Worldwide affairs affect all of us, so you could say anyone could be interested in it,” Gore said. “They could come in and learn about various things about what’s happening not only just here in the United States but also worldwide and see how worldwide things affect us here in the United States.”