Students, adults put world knowledge on the line in Falmouth

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FALMOUTH — More than 100 people packed the high school cafeteria last week with a trip to the nation’s capital on the line.

And to get there, all they had to do was be on the team with the smartest people in the room.

The annual Academic WorldQuest competition was held on Feb. 3 at Falmouth High School, with over 25 teams participating in the global knowledge, trivia-style competition.

High school from around the state could enter teams of four students, with the winning team getting to represent Maine in the national contest in Washington, D.C. Local businesses and college students could participate, too, just not for the trip to Washington.

The event was put on by the nonprofit World Affairs Council of Maine.

“We’re trying to promote global education and global understanding,” Amy Holland, the council’s executive director, said. “Our mission is to connect Maine and the world.”

There were six rounds, with 10 questions in each round. Topics included general geography, food security, current events, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and others.

Thorton Academy of Saco, which fielded four teams, was the school winner this year. The overall champion for the evening was the team from Unum, for the second year in a row.

Jessica White, a social studies teacher and faculty adviser for the Falmouth High School team, said Falmouth’s team was tossed together a few weeks before the event by sophomore Maria Kuhn.

White said she and Kuhn worked around the schedules of winter sports and other clubs to find enough students to field a team; juniors Ben Rudnick, Jordan Bruce and Greyson Cohen filled out the roster.

The four students, under the name FalQuest, said the questions were challenging at the event, but said the environment was very positive.

“It wasn’t cut-throat, which was nice,” Rudnick said.

White said especially with companies competing with students, it created a “more authentic real-world experience.”

“The point is that these issues affect all of us,” she said.

This was the first time Falmouth has hosted the event and the first time in years it has fielded a team. All four students said it was a fun event and they look forward to returning next year, hopefully with more students and more teams.

“I think the team will expand next year,” Kuhn said.

Colin Ellis can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @colinoellis.

Falmouth High School on Feb. 3 hosted the annual WorldQuest competition sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Maine.

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Reporter covering the Portland Public School District as well as the town of Falmouth for The Forecaster. Can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net.