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World Quest wins Regionals

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World Quest wins Regionals


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World Quest, an academic competition hosted by the World Affairs Council, consists of both a Regional and National contest. The Regional competition was held on February 10th, and Nationals will be on April 28th.

“The event covers world geography, maps, flags, currencies, physical features, world leaders, and current events,” Christine Badillo, the World Quest team sponsor, said. “They gather all the current event information from September 1st to February 1st.”

World Quest has been competing since before Mrs. Badillo came to Clements. The team won at Regionals back in 2002. The program then struggled for a couple of years, but it was revived back in 2010. In 2010 and 2011, the team finished in second and third place at the Regional competition.

“In 2017, we finished first in the Regional competition,” Mrs. Badillo said. “And this year we got to keep our title as Regional champs.”

To prepare for the competitions, the team practices with the UIL Current Events Team. They look at magazines such as The Economist and The Week. The team also uses other resources to help them practice.

“They meet once a week. They do practice tests,” Badillo said. “They quiz each other on maps, flags, and current events.”

There is only one opportunity to see how well they have trained. This is the Regional competition. And if the team does well, they’ll advance to the National competition.

“Because there is only one chance, the students have to prepare very hard,” Badillo said.

The Regional competition for the Houston area takes place at St. John’s School. Nationals are located in Washington D.C.

“There are teams from all over the greater Houston area,” Badillo said.

It is competitive in the fact that only two teams of eight kids from each school are allowed to compete at Regionals. At Nationals, they only allow a team of four students.

“[This] making it very important to do the work required in order to succeed,” Badillo said.

For a student to join the team they must show up with a willingness to study over 3,000-4,000 pages of news, maps, and current events. It seems tedious at times, but the team must prepare as all the other schools do.

“You need to like learning about news. Most of [the students] are my former AP World Geo students, who were good about learning their maps and world leaders,” Badillo said.

Many schools participate in this event, as there are 30-40 teams in total who compete in the competition. At Nationals there are about 50-60 teams.

“Texas has three teams because they are a larger state,” Badillo said. “States that are smaller tend to have maybe one or two if they are lucky. The teams from Texas are Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.”

The World Quest team doesn’t have to wait long to find out the competition results. The competition has many rounds, and after the end of the last round, they announce who is the winner of the Regional World Quest contest.

“There are high stakes to the events,” Badillo said. “The top three teams at Nationals win monetary scholarships.”

The teams for the World Quest Regionals were:

Team 1: Ronak Agarwal (10th), Rafay Ashary (11th), Saahil Kalvakuntla (10th), Akash Krishna (10th), John Lin (11th), Josh Misrack (12th), and Arnav Sethi (10th).

Team 2: Kennedy Barnes (9th), Katherine Bartos (12th), Yesh Dhruva (10th), Suraj Nair (10th), Saaket Poray (10th), Ibad Siddiqui (9th), and Will Roy (9th).

The four moving on from Team 1 that get to represent Houston at Nationals in Washington D.C. are: Ronak Agarwal, John Lin, Rafay Ashary, Arnav Sethi.

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World Quest wins Regionals