SAINT PAUL, Minn. — On Saturday, April 25, 2009, over 250 middle and high school students, volunteer judges, educational leaders and community guests from around the Twin Cities will convene at Macalester College in St. Paul to participate in Minnesota’s First Annual World Affairs Challenge(TM), hosted by global education non-profit World Savvy in partnership with Macalester College’s Institute for Global Citizenship.

The theme for this year’s World Affairs Challenge is 6 Billion on the Move: Human Migration in a Global Society. Students from schools around the Twin Cities prepare comprehensive presentations with proposed solutions to issues as diverse as immigration policies in various countries, the impact of different economies on migration, and possible effects of urbanization and overpopulation.

“Home to some of the largest Hmong, Somali and Liberian populations in the U.S., there is no denying that the Twin Cities is a global community,” explained Dana Curran, Executive Director of World Savvy. “The first annual Twin Cities World Affairs Challenge presents a unique opportunity for students to study a global issue in depth from a variety of perspectives and work with a group of their peers to suggest creative solutions to a particular problem.”

At the World Affairs Challenge, students participate in four dynamic events. Leading up to the Challenge, students work in groups during the spring to develop a creative presentation and a descriptive poster. Students also study current affairs and world geography in preparation for a global awareness quiz, and practice their teamwork skills for a group problem-solving activity in which students are grouped with youth from other schools to solve a real-world scenario. On Challenge Day, these four activities – the presentation, the poster, the quiz, and the real-world problem-solving – give youth diverse opportunities to present their findings and opinions as well as to be listened to and respected by their peers and adults who serve as observers and judges.

Participating schools include:

– Aerospace at Cleveland, St. Paul
– Breck School, Minneapolis
– Crosswinds East Metro Arts and Science School, Woodbury
– Edina High School, Edina
– Highland Park Senior High, St. Paul
– Irondale High School, New Brighton
– Lighthouse Academy of Nations, Minneapolis
– Metcalf Junior High, Burnsville
– North View Junior High, Brooklyn Park
– Robbinsdale Armstrong High School, Plymouth
– School of Environmental Studies, Apple Valley
– South High School, Minneapolis
– Southwest High School, Minneapolis
– The Blake School, Hopkins

Over the past seven years, over 3,000 students, teachers and volunteers have participated in San Francisco World Affairs Challenge hosted by World Savvy in partnership with San Francisco State University and the Center for Teaching International Relations in Denver. The success this annual event in San Francisco and other World Savvy programs in New York enabled the group to expand to Minnesota this year.

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