Waiakea High School wins grand prize at academic competition

  • Courtesy photo The 2019 winning team from Waiakea High School, from left, Kevin Li, Gaayatri Godbole, Haruna Tomono, Benjamin Vento and adviser Whitney Aragaki.

The Pacific and Asian Affairs Council hosted the 17th annual Academic WorldQuest Competition on Nov. 16.

This year, 250 students from 30 schools competed to test their knowledge of international current events. The main competition was hosted at the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus center ballroom, with neighbor island site competitions being live broadcast from Hilo and Kona on the Big Island and Kahului, Maui.

Gaayatri Godbole, Haruna Tomono, Kevin Li and Benjamin Vento from Waiakea High School in Hilo won the grand prize of paid airfare and hotel accommodations to represent Hawaii at the national competition in April 2020 in Washington D.C. Second place was awarded to Ivanni Jamin, Jared Barrett, Nicholas Barrick and Yingqi Liu of Hawaii Preparatory Academy in Waimea. Third place was awarded to the team from Kamehameha Schools Kapalama in Honolulu.

Students were tested this year on their knowledge of U.S.-Russia relations, South Korea, ocean pollution, Brexit and the EU, China’s Belt and Road Initiative and current events. Each category had 10 multiple choice questions each, 60 questions total. Each team had one minute to answer each question.

The Academic WorldQuest Competition is a nationwide international trivia competition organized by the World Affairs Council of America.

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