The Animal Welfare Judging and Assessment Contest (AWJAC) aims to provide a unique educational experience while strengthening student vocabulary and reasoning skills The AWJAC teaches students to assess the welfare of animals in a variety of settings using science-based methods and reasoning. Students are given the opportunity to weigh evidence and present sound evaluations. This contest ensures that tomorrow’s leaders in the animal industries develop strong communication skills and acquire enhanced knowledge of animal welfare.
An Advisory Board for the AWJAC consists of 7 members representing academia, business, nonprofit and federal agencies, ensuring fair competition and appropriate knowledge translation.
Evidence for the effect of judging teams on attitudes toward a specific discipline has been established by Squires et al. (1991). The competitive venue facilitates motivation and information retention, while the process of integrating a wide range of information into one final decision and oral presentation mirrors the interdisciplinary skills needed for real life welfare assessment.