Save the Date: 2021 Academic WorldQuest will be held VIRTUALLY March 1st – March 4th

What is Academic WorldQuest?

Academic WorldQuest (AWQ) is a national academic competition that challenges students’ knowledge of international affairs in a fun and engaging way. In teams of four, high school students work together to answer 10 rounds of 10 multiple choice questions on critical global issues.

While in Missoula, competitors also participate in two full days of global events. One of our signature programs “Student to Student Global Conversation” allows Montana students the opportunity to talk to students in other countries around the world including Congo, Japan, and Honduras. Each year, we invite Ambassadors, Consul Generals, and Global Experts to discuss with students the AWQ topics. In 2020, we had the honor of hosting US Ambassadors (ret.) Lisa Kubiske to Honduras, Barbara Leaf to UAE, and Susan Ziadeh to Qatar.


State champions have the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. to represent Montana at the National AWQ Competition. While in Washington, teams are exposed to a variety of unique global experiences, such as being hosted at an embassy or receiving a tour of the State Department. This exciting program is generously sponsored and supported by The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation. In case the in-person National Conference is canceled, each student from the winning team will receive a $1,000 scholarship to the college of their choice.

Announcing the 2020-2021 AWQ Topics

  1. Global Protests
  2. Shifting Sands: The Arab Spring 10 Years On
  3. International Labour Organization (ILO)
  4. The U.S. Foreign Service in the 21st Century
  5. Great Decisions
  6. Country in Focus: Uzbekistan
  7. Exploring Peace in a World of Conflict
  8. Fraying Alliances
  9. Looking to a Post-Pandemic Economy
  10. Current Events


Academic WorldQuest prepares students for the growing challenges they may face in an increasingly global, yet interconnected world.  It It is our hope that through their participation in AWQ, Montana students will have the opportunity to develop a greater sense of the world around them and the possibilities for them on the global stage.  AWQ also helps to demonstrate for the students that we are all part of a larger landscape.  AWQ is more than a competition; it is an opportunity to engage students from across Montana, in conversations and engaging analysis of international affairs and responsible global citizenship.

Now the Council’s largest education program, AWQ began in 2005 with only three teams and has grown to include almost 70 teams from around the state. Over the years, teams have traveled to Missoula from all across Montana, including Libby, Carter County, Hays-Lodge Pole, St. Regis, Gardiner, Billings, Wolf Point, Lincoln, and Noxon to participate in the competition.

Save the Date: 2021 Academic WorldQuest will be held VIRTUALLY on Monday, March 1st – Thursday, March 4th

We are proud to announce the 2021 Academic WorldQuest will be free to all schools! The educator from the winning team will receive a $500 donation to purchase international classroom materials, publications, and resources. Registration will open on Monday, September 28th, 2020. Please contact Nikki Geiszler, Programs Director, at or (406) 529-3565 if you have any questions.

2021 AWQ Tentative Schedule

  1. 2021 Academic WorldQuest Tentative Schedule
    Date: Monday, March 1st – Thursday, March 4th

    Monday, March 1st

    9:00 AM- 10:15 AM: Country in Focus: Uzbekistan – Invitation to Ambassador Pamela L. Spratlen (ret.)

    10:30 AM – 11:45 PM: U.S. Foreign Service in the 21st Century with Ambassador Deborah McCarthy (ret.)

    12:00 – 1:00 PM: Teacher Workshop “U.S. Foreign Service in the 21st Century” with the Mike and Maureen Mansfield Center, offering 1 OPI credit

    1:15 PM- 2:00 PM: Program: Discussing the Importance of Global Education and International Jobs available in Montana- Invitation to newly elected Governor

    Tuesday, March 2nd

    8:00 AM- 9:30 AM: Student to Student Global Conversation with Egypt

    *Trying for 9:00 AM start time, waiting for confirmation from US Embassy in Egypt on time

    10:30 AM- 12:00 PM: Arab Spring with Ambassador Anne Patterson to Egypt (ret.), Ambassador Gerald Feierstein to Yemen (ret.) and Ambassador Gordan Gray (ret.) to Tunisia

    12:15-1:00 PM: Teacher Workshop with United States Institute of Peace, offering 1 OPI credit

    1:15 PM- 2:30 PM: Exploring Peace in a World of Conflict: Invitation to Ambassador Hesham Youssef

    Wednesday, March 3rd

    9:00 AM- 10:15 AM: “How has Coronavirus affected the Global Economy and the Montana Economy”- Brian Brown, Marketing President for First Interstate Bank Billings, Brigitta Miranda-Freer, Executive Director for Montana World Trade Center, and Global Expert TBD

    10:30 AM- 11:45 PM: Global Protests: Hong Kong

    12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Teacher Workshop with Inspired Classroom, offering 1 OPI credit

    1:15 PM- 2:30 PM: Global Protests: Nigeria

    Thursday, March 4th

    9:00 AM- 11:00 AM: Academic WorldQuest Competition

Academic WorldQuest is proudly sponsored by

  • Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation
  • First Interstate Bank
  • Allegiance
  • BNSF Foundation
  • NorthWestern Energy
  • Mansfield Center
  • Montana World Trade Center
  • USIP
  • ALPS
  • Geiszler Steele PC
  • Inspired Classroom