(Pictured above, left to right) Katie Mansfield, Nabil Kapasi, Keystone Advisor Ray Boryczka, Chris Zhu, and Emily Ye at the 13th Annual Academic WorldQuest held at Rackspace. Photo by Larry Walther.
The Keystone School team from left: Katie Mansfield, Nabil Kapasi, Keystone Advisor Ray Boryczka, Chris Zhu, and Emily Ye at the 13th Annual Academic WorldQuest held at Rackspace in 2015. Photo by Larry Walther.

Upon their return from a second place finish at the National Academic WorldQuest competition last year, the team from Keystone School told the Rivard Report that they had their sights set on winning the national championship in 2016. They will take their first step toward that goal this Wednesday.

On Feb. 3, 150 high school students will gather at Rackspace to compete in the regional round of the 14th Annual Academic WorldQuest, hosted by the World Affairs Council of San Antonio. Representing 18 schools from across the San Antonio region, 44 teams will answer trivia-style questions from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., a grueling day of mental exercise for even the brightest students. The event is sponsored and hosted by Rackspace, with other major corporate sponsors including H-E-B

Competitors read one of the questions at the World Affairs Council of San Antonio's Academic WorldQuest. Photo by Bekah McNeel.
Competitors read one of the questions at the World Affairs Council of San Antonio’s Academic WorldQuest. Photo by Bekah McNeel.

The program, a national competition organized by the World Affairs Councils of America challenges students to know not only their history, but current events and relevant social trends as well. This year’s 10 topics include “The Sultanate of Oman,” “Asia Matters for America,” and “Privacy in the Digital Age.”

Topics are chosen by the World Affairs Councils of America to help students think about the global issues facing their generation, and how they might step into global leadership roles. The competition aligns with the goal of the organization to promote understanding of world affairs and U.S. foreign policy, and encourage citizen participation and leadership.

If you’ve ever wondered if teenagers care about global issues, just get this group talking about grassroots movements and social media activism.

The event brings public, private, and charter schools together for the rigorous competition. Many schools bring more than one team of four. The winning team will have the chance to compete at the National Academic WorldQuest in Washington, D.C. in April.

This year, the Keystone teams will go up against peers from STEM Academy, Clark HS, Business Careers HS, School of Science and Technology,  Saint Mary’s Hall, Warren HS, O’Connor HS, Judson Early College Academy,  Robert E. Lee, Incarnate Word HS, TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas,  Christian Academy of San Antonio, Canyon HS, St. Anthony Catholic HS, Smithson Valley HS, Calvary Chapel Christian Academy and the International School of the Americas.

*Top image; The Keystone School team from left: Katie Mansfield, Nabil Kapasi, Keystone Advisor Ray Boryczka, Chris Zhu, and Emily Ye at the 13th Annual Academic WorldQuest held at Rackspace in 2015. Photo by Larry Walther.

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Bekah McNeel

Bekah McNeel is a native San Antonian. You can also find her at her blog, FreeBekah.com, on Twitter @BekahMcneel, and on Instagram @wanderbekah.