West Grand High School of Kremmling was this year's recipient of the Denver Council on Foreign Relations'(DCFR) grant for participation in the April 13 World Affairs Challenge, sponsored by the Center for Teaching International Relations (CTIR), to be held at the Regis University Campus in Denver. About 300 junior and high school students, parents, teachers and judges from throughout the state of Colorado are expected to attend this year's event.
Melanie Schmidt, a teacher at West Grand High, will lead her team of students in preparation for the event.
This year's Challenge topic is "Innovation and Technology in Global Development." The Challenge is to identify the use of technology and innovative development practices that have led to current successes, as well as those emerging, which will aid in tackling the issues that still remain. A major question posed is: Are technology and innovation always positive forces in development? The focus is to work with those issues addressed in the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals.
This theme allows students to research and present on a wide range of topics. In addition to a Formal Presentation, students participate in the Collaborative Question, a problem-solving simulation, based on a real-world crisis, with students from other schools. Prior to the tournament day, students also take a quiz on global events and geography
As part of the tournament, students research and prepare a creative presentation on a global issue or challenge, including their recommendations for addressing the challenge. On tournament day, students give their presentation before a panel of judges comprised of community members and leaders. Presentations often take the form of skits, talk shows, mock news broadcasts, or other formats in which students use music, costumes, and art to explain their chosen issue and its importance.
Ms. Schmidt and West Grand high have participated in past years and as the DCFR's grant recipient last year, also won third place for Best Overall High School Award.
CTIR is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works with schools, educators, the business community, and other non-profit organizations in order to instill a life-long appreciation of learning in young people. CTIR also works closely with teachers and school districts to assist in getting them the training and resources to help their students understand the complexity of current events.
Founded in 1938 as a committee of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, the DCFR is incorporated as an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization. The DCFR's mission is to conduct informed, non-partisan discussions on foreign policy between citizens, community leaders, and policy makers, to heighten public awareness and expand understanding of contemporary and emerging international issues, locally and regionally, and to generate inputs to policy makers, based on research and related activities, that reflect perspectives developed in Denver and the Rocky Mountain region.
For more information about the World Affairs Challenge: http://www.worldaffairschallenge.org/