IAC is pleased to announce a series of talks and receptions at Nationals! Please see below for details on each of these – all are offered free of charge and do not require prior registration, though we will ask you at check-in which of these you are likely to attend. All of these will take place at the Hyatt Regency Orlando; exact locations will be posted here prior to Nationals weekend. Also, if you happen to have an idea for an additional talk, please let us know! We’re happy to add to our Nationals program if we think our families would find an additional talk idea interesting and worth 30-45 minutes of their time. If you are interested in this option, please email david@iacompetitions.com

1. AFS Exchange Student Programs Info Session
IAC’s Executive Director David Madden spent the first six months of his senior year in high school as an AFS exchange student in Vienna, Austria. Not only were these the best six months of his life, but he credits his time overseas as helping him get into Princeton University (the Princeton Dean of Admissions at the time was quoted in the AFS brochure as saying that ideally, every applying student would have a chance to take part in such a program), acquiring complete fluency in German, building self-reliance and social skills, forming life-long friendships, and developing an appreciation for what America can learn from the wider world and what the wider world can learn from America. 30 years prior, David’s mother had also been an AFS exchange student in Brazil (and 55 years later is still fluent in Portuguese). The Maddens also hosted an AFS exchange student from Indonesia in 2007.
Come and learn about opportunities for students to go overseas with AFS, to open your family to a student who is eager to study in the USA, and for teachers to participate in their own specially designed travel and exchange programs as well! AFS volunteers will be at Nationals to answer your questions, hand out more information, and explain how intercultural exchanges can be a perfect complement to learning for school and IAC. This talk will take place from 7:30-8pm on Friday evening, May 24.

2. 8th Graders Reception & Intro to IAC’s High School Programs
For 8th graders, this is your last chance to compete at IAC’s Middle & Elementary School Nationals! But there are years of competition and camaraderie ahead of you in IAC’s high school competitions! Our high school programs work slightly differently (the History Bowl is a particular focus at the high school level; there are no Online Regional Qualifying Exams, etc.) so come learn about how you can still compete for the next four years. You can even look to become a paid staff member at our Middle and Elementary School tournaments in your area as well! We’ll spend a bit of time outlining opportunities and then give you a chance to hang out with other competitors from around the country with some soft drinks and snacks. This reception will take place on Sunday evening, May 26 and run from 9-10pm.

3. Girls Who Quiz Talk and Reception
IAC is launching a series of initiatives to make quizzing more welcoming to girls. We’d love for all girls at Nationals to join us to hear about our ideas and to give us some feedback on what you would like to see more of in our programs. A number of girls and women who are experienced competitors or IAC staff members will be on hand to share their perspectives as well. This can also give you a chance to get to know other girls at Nationals and make friends early on in the weekend. This event will run on Friday morning from 9:30-11am. Girls who are competing in the National Geography Bee block from 9:30-10:30 are encouraged to come for the final half hour once the geography rounds have finished.

4. Jeopardy! Info Session
Did you know that IAC Founder and Executive Director David Madden is one of the top competitors in the history of Jeopardy!? Come and hear about how David found success on the show as a result of his experience competing in academic quiz competitions while in high school, and how Jeopardy! in turn led to the launch of IAC. David and other IAC staff members who have competed will discuss the history of the show from an insider’s perspective, tips for applying to get on the show, and tips for doing well if you get selected. This talk will run from 12:30-1:30pm on Friday, May 24.

5. Model UN Training Session
For students taking part in the Intro to Model UN program, we are offering a training session on Thursday evening after the Opening Ceremonies. This session will run from 9-10pm and will give you a chance to become better acquainted with how Model UN works, and what to expect during your committee. Our Model UN committee chairs will be on hand to share some advice and answer your questions. We will also have an online training session in the week prior to Nationals as well, if you are unable to attend in person. We will discuss parliamentary procedure, how to be persuasive and build consensus in committee, how to write a resolution, and what Model UN committee chairs look for when deciding who gets awards at the end of the competition, among other topics.

6. Quiz Bowl Info Session
IAC’s competitions are part of the broader community of quiz bowl. Quiz bowl, generally speaking, refers to buzzer-based academic quiz competitions, usually with questions written in the short paragraph style that IAC uses with clues arranged in descending order of difficulty. Many quiz bowl competitions are team-based and feature questions, like IAC’s National Academic Bee, on numerous different subjects. Quiz bowl is a growing activity, particularly at the middle and elementary level, and IAC strongly encourages all of its participants to take part in other quiz bowl competitions too! Aside from being great preparation for IAC’s events, quiz bowl competitions are lots of fun and help to build teamwork. Many IAC staff members competed in quiz bowl tournaments, and they will share their perspectives and advice as well. We’ll discuss how to get started with quiz bowl, including advice on setting up a team, finding competitions near you, and how to ensure success on the buzzer.

7. Special Speaker – History Theme
IAC will be finding a speaker with a personal connection to history. More information will be posted here when available. This talk is planned for 11am-12pm on Saturday, May 25.

8. Special Speaker – Science Theme
IAC will be finding a speaker with a personal connection to science. More information will be posted here when available. This talk is planned for 9:30-10:30am on Saturday, May 25.

9. Teachers Thank You Reception
IAC’s National Championships wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of thousands of teachers across the USA! If you are a teacher or administrator and are attending Nationals, we’d love to get to know you better and thank you for your support. We’ll thus have a reception for teachers and administrators from participating schools which will run from 4:30-5:30pm on Friday, May 24 with complimentary snacks, beer, wine, and soft drinks. We hope you’ll be able to join us!