TRAVERSE CITY — R.J. Fenton always wanted to pit his mind against another in a quiz bowl-type competition.
This year the Traverse City Central High School junior got a chance to do just that.
“This seemed like a fun opportunity to do with friends,” Fenton said. “I think the competition will be the most fun part.”
Fenton and some of his classmates will compete against other area students to determine who knows the most international trivia.
Local students will participate in the area’s first Academic WordQuest Competition. Teams from across the country compete, and the winning local team could move on to compete against others at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
“There’s also a longer-term goal that this community needs to have plugged-in kids, young people, who are interested in reaching out to a job market and to an export market out there in the outside world,” said Jack Segal, who co-chairs the International Affairs Forum with his wife, Karen. Members of the IAF mentor the teams.
Competing students are supposed to have knowledge of issues revolving around cyber security, U.S. energy policy, the Middle East, global health, and other topics. They’ll compete in 10 rounds of 10 multiple choice questions.
“This is another avenue for those kids to compete, to work, to learn and put it into practice and see where they stack up,” said Dan Rosenburg, a Traverse City West Senior High School social studies teacher and an adviser for the group. “It’s a lot of fun for those kids.”
Rosenburg, who also teaches world history, said the competition lets students delve deeper into subjects than they normally would in class.
Rosenburg’s students started meeting once a week in November to go over the material.
Segal expects 10 teams from Traverse City West Senior High School, Traverse City Central High School, Elk Rapids High School, Forest Area High School, Grand Traverse Academy and Mancelona High School to participate.
Students will compete at the Milliken Auditorium on Thursday from 2 to 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend. TV anchor Marc Schollett will be the Master of Ceremonies.