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a hand receiving a splash of water illustrates the World Affairs Challenge

The World Affairs Challenges gives students the opportunity to address real-world issues.

At Mackintosh Academy, seventh and eighth grade students have been participating in the World Affairs Challenge (WAC) since 2014. This annual challenge asks students to work collaboratively to research, address, and take action on a real-world problem.

This year’s World Affairs Challenge focuses on the water nexus, which is a term that describes the deep connection between several of our planet’s critical domains: water, energy, food, and transportation. For this challenge, Mack students selected a water-related issue and explored how it connected with food, energy, and transportation. Students then created video pitches that explain the issue and propose a potential action (in the challenge lingo, “WACtion”) they could take on to help mitigate the issue or call attention to the issue. 

WAC judges will review the videos and the student groups will then meet virtually for a follow-up interview with the judges. The teams in the top 20% will advance to the WAC World Championships on Saturday, April 1.

In the past, WAC had an in-person element, but in recent years has switched to virtual participation. This allows WAC to reach a global audience of student participants. In 2022, over 900 students participated in WAC, forming teams in schools in 15 different cities across Colorado and in Turkey, Morocco, Iraq, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

Collaboration is key in World Affairs Challenge

Mackintosh Middle Years Programme teacher Joe Pausback shared that this year’s challenge has been a great opportunity for students to take on a global issue, dive into it, and work collaboratively on the project.  He added, “There is an element of WAC where we teachers get pretty hands off, which is a little terrifying, but it is validating to watch groups come together, and explore how to creatively present their information and balance that with still delivering the appropriate content.” Mr. Pausback believes that collaborative work is the most beneficial part of WAC.

The students’ pitch videos are available for viewing on the Mackintosh Academy YouTube channel.

Team: Mine WACcidents

Video: Mine Waste

Team: Cheese and QWACkers 

Video: Water Conservation in the Colorado River Basin

Team: ComeWAC of the Century

Video: E.coli in the South Platte River

Team: WACaroni 

Video: Microplastics

We wish all of our MYP students great success in this year’s WAC and will share the results when they’re available!


Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash


Mackintosh Academy Littleton