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The 2021 Virtual Academic WorldQuest Competition
A Project of World Affairs Council of the Desert
Academic WorldQuest is a team competition that tests high school students’ knowledge of international affairs. The 16th annual competition took place virtually over Zoom on Thursday, March 4th and was hosted by Dr. Michael Karp, Assistant Professor of History at CSUSB-Palm Desert. Jim McFarlin, President of World Affairs Council of the Desert, opened with a welcome. The questions were broadcasted through the MyQuiz platform. Jean Carrus, WACD Board Member, offered closing remarks.
This year there were eight rounds of topics, each consisting of ten questions. The topics comprised of Global Protests, Shifting Sands: The Arab Spring 10 Years-On, U.S. Foreign Service in the 21stCentury, Great Decisions, Exploring Peace in a World of Conflict, Fraying Alliances, looking to a Post-Pandemic Economy, and Current Events.
Eight schools participated, with teams of four students. The schools included Coachella Valley High, Desert Hot Springs High, La Quinta High, Palm Desert High, Palm Valley School, Rancho Mirage High, Shadow Hills High, and West Shores High. Each team had to submit a single answer to each question. The team with the highest number of correct answers won.
After three hours of competition, Palm Valley School won 1st place: Coach Andrea Coffey, Sara Habibipour, Elizabeth Shay, Jake Sonderman, and Evan Spry. Palm Desert High came in 2nd place: Coach Patricia Lizza, Britney Baez, Jennifer DeLeon, Joseph Lehman, and Shafaaa Munjal. Desert Hot Springs High came in 3rd place: Coach Paul Eyskens, Elijah Christy, Fernando Cortez Osuna, Rene Liera, and Dominic Sanchez. This year’s Most Improved went to Shadow Hills High: Coach Amie Osmond, Jadyn Curdes, Ava Gonzalez, Ethan Gonzalez, and Bryant Kelly.
Each student was awarded a scholarship: $300 to Palm Valley for 1st place, $200 to Palm Desert High for 2nd place, $100 to Desert Hot Springs for 3rd place, and $75 to Shadow Hills High for Most Improved.
The top three teams were awarded trophies and moved on to compete in the National Academic WorldQuest Competition on April 17th, which was also held virtually.
Second Place Team: Palm Desert High School
From top left to right: Joseph Lehman, Britney Baez, Shafaa Munjal, Jennifer DeLeon
Coach Patricia Lizza
Third Place Team: Desert Hot Springs High School
From top left: Fernando Cortez Osuna, Rene Liera, Elijah Christy, Dominic Sanchez,
Coach, Paul Eyskens