2022 EconoQuest Conference will be held in Bozeman on Sunday, October 23rd - Tuesday, October 25th. 

EconoQuest: Exploring Global Economics and Photonics Opportunities in Montana

In partnership with Gallatin CollegeMontana Photonics Industry Alliance, and the Montana World Affairs Council, EconoQuest provides Montana high school students with a unique opportunity to engage with local companies and government leaders about economics, business planning, international trade, and future career paths. By participating, Montana students will understand basic economic theory, business planning, Montana's connection to the world, the impact of global dynamics on our economy, and engage students in career pathways into the technology and photonics industries.

Virtual Platform

Educators statewide mentioned how economics is not formally taught in classrooms and many times is only touched among briefly. The Montana World Affairs Council, with Inspired Classroom, developed the EconoQuest Virtual Platform to help fill this gap to teach students basic economics, business planning, and how global issues and events impact Montana’s economy. In addition, there will be 4 virtual programs where students can engage in Q&A with distinguished guest speakers. Teacher support will be offered at no cost throughout the program.

In-Person Conference

EconoQuest Conference is a multi-day conference for high school students to explore the technology and photonics opportunities available in Montana. Photonics is the physical science and application of light. Students will learn more about what local companies are developing such as laser systems, quantum technologies, aerospace, and much more!

On day two of EconoQuest, students will learn how global issues and events impact Montana's economy, Montana World Trade Center will demonstrate how international trade works and how vital trade is to local Montana companies, and students will get to engage with Montana government leaders as well as Consul Generals., we are excited to provide a multi-day conference for high school students to explore the technology and photonic opportunities available in the Gallatin area. Students will learn more about what local companies are developing such as airplanes, lasers, drones, and more! 

EconoQuest Competition

In teams of 3, students will develop a business plan for a product that they will internationally trade with the European Union or a country in the European Union. Students will be encouraged to be inspired by their own communities when selecting their product. Business plans will be judged on creativity, practicality, and overall pitch.

The winning team will get to travel to Helena for a tour of the capital, engage with government officials, and have lunch with the Lt. Governor. They will also win scholarship money to Gallatin College.

School Scholarships

EconoQuest is FREE to all students. Scholarships are provided to traveling schools, with priority to rural and reservation schools, that need assistance to cover the expenses of transportation, lodging, and substitute teachers. All meals will be provided for students during the conference. We never want a student to be denied the opportunity to attend the EconoQuest Conference due to budget restrictions that are increasing every year in schools. By providing EconoQuest with no cost to schools, we open the conference up to students statewide that might not be able to attend otherwise. 

The EconoQuest Virtual Platform will be available in August 2022. 

EconoQuest Virtual Programs will be scheduled every Tuesday starting September 27th until October 18th from 10:30 AM MST - 11:30 AM MST. Stay tuned for the Distinguished Speakers participating in the virtual programs!

For questions, please contact Nikki Geiszler, Programs Director, at

EconoQuest Sponsors

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"Academic World Quest has expanded the knowledge of the students in Hamilton High school. It is a unique experience that is approachable and affordable for all schools. I am in awe that my students in a small rural community have access to the caliber of speakers and opportunities that are offered by the World Affairs Council. I can' t express enough gratitude toward MWAC for the advantages that has provided to my students that will better prepare them for a increasingly globalized society."

Kiah Nisly, Teacher from Hamilton High School

"Bringing my students to Academic WorldQuest is something that is non-negotiable. Making the future of Montana aware of our global world is necessary, and in rural Montana even more so. My students have limited resources in our small community to explore worlds outside of Montana and the United States. Being exposed to this competition and the activities associated with it expands minds and horizons."

Jennifer Graham, Teacher from Granite High School

"This is such an awesome event for students, especially for students from small schools. I am still in shock that my students just talked with students from Congo. My students worked so hard on studying, making their worlds bigger. Thank you so much for such a great experience. It also inspires me to add more current world affairs into my daily teaching."

Christina Cote, Gardiner High School

"Being a Title 1 school, we find this competition an invaluable experience for our students to learn more about the world around them. With our population being 100 percent Native Americans, it was also comforting for our students to see others like themselves represented in the competition. Meeting with students from Honduras was also a highlight for our students."

Paul Condon, Teacher from Hays Lodgepole High School