Report by Olivia Bray, Year 12
At the World Scholar’s Cup in Bangkok, June 2016, Island School students picked up individual and team medals in this rigorous academic competition based around six subjects and one theme: An Imperfect World.
If that sounds daunting, then don’t worry: the main priority of the World Scholar’s Cup is to have fun! We started off the week with a keynote speech from Boey Kim Cheung, an acclaimed Singaporean poet, followed by a scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt sorted us into random teams where we got to meet other scholars from different countries and work together to get as many points as possible by completing ridiculous and fun tasks.
During the competition itself, we had to use everything we’d learned to our advantage, from failed states and infamous criminals to poignant artworks and deadly diseases. We debated against some of the best teams from around the world, worked together to write essays and answer quiz questions and fended for ourselves in the Scholar’s Challenge. Both senior teams qualified for the next round and gained many medals individually and as a team. The competition was challenging but rewarding, and we developed strong bonds and friendships within our teams.
After a mildly stressful and worthwhile two days, we had two talent shows that featured singing, dancing and other fascinating acts, as well as a showcase that pitted the eight highest scoring debaters head-to-head. We also had a Scholar’s Social, Cultural Evening and Scholar’s Ball so we could make new friends, learn about different countries and danced the night away. Who says nerds don’t know how to have fun!
On behalf of everyone who took part this year, I’d like to thank Mr Spanos, the dedicated team of year 13s and our parents for helping us organize this trip and giving us the opportunity to represent our school in this esteemed competition. We look forward to taking part in the Tournament of Champions at Yale University in a few months.