Middle and High School Education Programs
The Colorado Springs World Affairs Council continues to support a variety of programs for local middle and high school students designed to foster a long-term interest in international relations. Financial support from Jim and Diane Cameron Education Contributors has provided the Council with the means to make major contributions to the following programs.
High School Symposium
This program began in 1989 and is our oldest and most established education initiative taking place each fall. It is an annual full-day program attracting several hundred high school students from across the Pikes Peak Region, with a keynote speaker or panel, break-out sessions, debates, and discussion groups
High School Symposium - September 27, 2012
Topic: The United States and China: Confrontation or Collaboration?
Does the rise of China as an economic and military super power constitute a threat to the well-being and security of the United States? Or does China’s growing stake in international order generate a shared interest in building peace? Will the two countries come together on issues such as global warming and nuclear proliferation or will rivalry prevail over cooperation?
These are some of the questions that were discussed during this year's symposium.
Click here to read William H. Overholt's article Reassessing China: Awaiting Xi Jinping.
World Affairs Challenge
The Center for Teaching International Relations in Denver hosts this program on its campus, and it is held in the spring of the year for both middle school and high school students in separate competitions. Upon registration for the World Affairs Challenge, teachers receive access to online resources designed to support their team’s research. The central goal for the students is to develop a creative presentation that represents what they have learned, why it is important, and provides solid action steps toward sustainable solutions. Students then give a formal presentation in front of a panel of judges at the tournament on the selected topic that accounts for 60% of the team’s score. In addition, teams get online resources to help them prepare for the global awareness quiz that accounts for 20%. The final part of the competition is a collaborative question provided at the competition also worth 20%. Students work in teams of 6-10 for the formal presentation, individually on the global awareness quiz, and with their peers from other schools on the collaborative question. This year’s competition addressed the issue of “Global Leadership: Beyond the Millennium Development Goals” and was held on Saturday, April 21, 2012. The Council provides grants to schools that submit applications based on the needs of the individual schools. Registration and grant application forms along with additional information about the competition are available at www.worldaffairschallenge.org. This program is directed by Dr. Curtis Cook.
The World Affairs Council of America began hosting national competitions in this “knowledge bowl” of world affairs in 2005. Each year, our Council hosts a local competition involving area high schools in February. The teams are comprised of four students from the respective high schools, and the questions address 10 categories of world affairs topics in a multiple choice format. Recent winning teams have represented Rampart High School and Air Academy High School in 2011 and again in 2012. The Council then sponsors the winning team to travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in the national Academic WorldQuest competition that takes place in the spring of the year. Pam Lively, a social studies teacher at Air Academy High School, directs this program.
Rampart High School Wins Local Academic WorldQuest Competition
Our local Academic WorldQuest competition was held on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at Air Academy High School. The high schools participating in this 10 round multiple choice event were Air Academy, Rampart, the Colorado Springs School, Lewis Palmer, and James Irwin Charter. The Vista Ridge team had to withdraw at the last moment because of illness among its members. In an extremely tight contest, Rampart won by a 62-60 score over defending champion Air Academy. The topics in this year’s competition included U.S. Economic Competitiveness, the Middle East, China, Afghanistan/Pakistan, and Current Events. Each high school team is comprised of 4 players who collaborate to answer each of the 10 questions during the 10 rounds of topics. The Rampart team includes Adrian Bogart, Luis Bernabe Betancourt, Harrison Meyer, and Gautham Viswaroopan and is coached by Casey Walter from the Rampart faculty. The team will travel to Washington, DC for the national competition at Georgetown University on April 27, 2013 thanks to a very generous grant from the Jim and Diane Cameron Education Contributors. Pam Lively from Air Academy High School is our local coordinator for Academic WorldQuest and once again oversaw the entire competition extremely well.
High School Model UN
The Council, in cooperation with the Pikes Peak Chapter of the United Nations Association, has provided funding to the Colorado Springs School to assist with the school’s participation in a series of Model UN competitions over the past three years at the state, regional, and national levels. In 2010, 12 students and 2 faculty members traveled to Washington, D.C. for the national competition featuring teams from across the U.S. and around the world. Another team will be attending the national competition later in February this year. We would like to see additional area high schools become involved in this worthwhile program and stand ready to support such participation.
Beginning in June 2011, the Council offered a workshop for local middle and high school teachers. The topic for our first workshop was Iran and was held in the Penrose House complements of the El Pomar Foundation. The most recent workshop was conducted in February 2012, and the topic was U.S. Economic Competitiveness. The El Pomar Foundation again was a major supporter and provided access to the Penrose House. Sue Dilloway is our coordinator for this program.
Student Monthly Speaker Events
A limited number of middle, high school and college students are most welcome as part of a school group to monthly speaker events. As part of a school group, students and adult sponsors may attend at no charge.
The number of students taking advantage of this opportunity continues to expand and remains very popular with attending students and teachers.
For more information on any of our educational programs, feel free to contact Bill Berry at (719) 481-4981. We look forward to expanding our programs and invite your participation and that of your students.