With over 5000 scholars gathered from a number of countries from around the world, the World Scholar’s Cup in Melbourne is an experience unlike any other. Students from the École Mondiale school participated in this international team academic event, and came back with some incomparable experiences.
There are, in all, four main events – the Scholar’s Challenge, Team Debates, Scholar’s Bowl and Collaborative Writing.
“The week-long journey commenced with an action packed scavenger hunt, where we interacted with students from 28 different countries. I truly cherished this part of the event, because within a matter of few hours I formed close friendships with my teammates. We bonded over everything from food to shared cultures to our excitement for what was to come.” says Ruchee Ajwani, grade 10.
“The Scholar’s Challenge was a decidedly tough part of the competition. It was a multiple choice quiz that focused on the six subjects in the curriculum – History of Diplomacy, Human Relationships, Science of Memory, Black Markets, Voices of the Inseparable and Braving the Distance. You are allowed to shade up to five options, although your points decrease according to the number of options shaded.” Says Zara Sharma from grade 8. “This event taught me the importance of focusing on details, and how to conduct a research study.”
One of the main highlights of the event was the team debates. Each team was required to debate three times on motions across all subjects. “It was all about creating the most persuasive case possible by applying all that you’d learned. Each student had up to 4 minutes to speak and there will be 15 minutes of research with full access to the internet. Some of motions this year were, “Imaginary enemies are good for children”, “We should be able to turn off memory making”.” says Zara. The debates were a great way to help the students develop crucial critical thinking skills, presentation skills and helped build their confidence.
Yet another interesting aspect of this unique competition was the Scholar’s Social. “I was pleasantly surprised at the ease with which the conversation flowed among scholars from a variety of backgrounds. The first challenge we faced was the Scholar’s Challenge. It was infamously difficult and the most intimidating of all the tasks set to us by far. Despite being challenging, a little preparation went a long way.” says Ruchee.
The Scholar’s Bowl was a multiple choice quiz, except that the students had to work in a team. They were required to solve various questions that were displayed. Each team has a clicker with buttons, A, B, C and D. The challenge is not to click the right answer as fast as you can, it is about coming to a united conclusion with your teammates. The stakes are high, and the pressure is real, but it was pleasant surprise to see the students responding with the composed alacrity that they did.
The last but not the least, of the events was the collaborative writing task. While the scholars were all well-equipped with the power of the written word, it was different doing it in a team format. “We were given six statements, each from different subjects. We were given the choice to argue for or against it. WSC focused on the content and not the word count. This was an important lesson for all of us.” says Zara.
“We were to write our own essays but there was a twist to this age-old process – we had to take inputs and offer our own suggestions from and to our teammates. This activity was a wonderful way to learn how to manage time effectively and cooperate for a better outcome for each of us.” says Ruchee.
This wonderful sojourn was highlighted with the fact that the École Mondiale World School’s team was awarded as the number 1 team in South Asia. The seniors qualified through to the ‘Tournament of Champions’ that is to be held at the Yale University in November. Something the students are looking forward to with great excitement.