Students at Bromsgrove International School would like to ask you some questions: Should robots run the justice system? Does democracy suit all cultures? Do dictatorships cause more progress than regress? Can we compare technology to a prison?
Big questions like these are at the core of the World Scholar’s Cup, a prestigious academic competition expertly designed for the best and brightest worldwide. Students from across five continents and dozens of countries compete in a range of challenges designed to put their minds to the test in innovative and rigorous ways, competing against each other every year for the ultimate prize: a place in the ‘Tournament of Champions’ at America’s prestigious Yale University. However, equally important is the enormous fun and celebration of learning along the way.
The Bromsgrove Alpacas on the Green in New Haven, Connecticut.
Opportunities for the gifted teenager to develop in the sporting arena are commonplace, as are opportunities in the Arts – but the chance to flex their mind muscles in an arena such as this is more unusual. This is where the World Scholar’s Cup steps in, designing a rigorous programme to challenge these students and develop their skills in a range of areas, aiming to inspire a global community of future scholars and leaders.
Bromsgrove’s Junior Squad at the prestigious MIT campus.
Gifted students are able to exercise their talents by taking the floor in dynamic debates, putting pen to paper in erudite essays, and examining the depth and breadth of their knowledge in a mammoth ‘Scholar’s Challenge’. Finally, they enter the ‘Scholar’s Bowl’, a three-hour team quiz which takes on a unique and ingenious look at the entire syllabus, challenging students to accrue as many points as they can with a gambler’s recklessness and every ounce of divergent thinking they can muster.
Bromsgrove’s Junior Squad outside Yale University’s Battell Chapel.
The same format was followed in dozens of regional rounds around the world, from Houston to Perth, from Nairobi to Doha, and from Surabaya to Tokyo – including here in Thailand last March, when Bromsgrove students swept the floor with a formidable line up of Bangkok’s best and amassed an impressive medal and trophy haul. The massive Global Round in Kuala Lumpur in June saw over three thousand of the top students from each regional round pitted against each other in fierce but always fun competition.
The curriculum this year explored the World Unbound, an exciting array of topics which made students question the role of heroes in our society, whether technology liberates or imprisons us, the challenges of movements towards freedom and why cultures clash. Encouraging students to think outside the box is the forte of the World Scholar’s Cup and linking high brow subjects such as Karl Marx to modern day social media is all in a day’s work.
On a crisp, autumnal afternoon in November, the very best students from the Global Round arrived in sleepy New Haven, Connecticut for the final leg of a journey which, for many of them, was a life-changing learning opportunity and an immersive taste of future university study tantalisingly close ahead. Among those 666 young Alpacas (the mascot identity participants adopt throughout the programme) were three teams from Bromsgrove International School pitting themselves against the top students in the world in this championship of minds. In fact, the students brought home from Yale a glittering array of prizes to adorn the Bromsgrove trophy cabinets.
Bromsgrove’s Senior Squad at Yale University.
One of the Junior teams consisting of students Andrew Couper, Joon Ho Byun and Daisy Savage finished 5th in the debating competition with a finish in the top 16 for the whole competition. Our Senior team of Meetu Bharati, Sydney Tarrant and Thomas Savage came away with a trophy for finishing 4th place across all of the Senior teams in the Scholar’s Bowl, with one team member, fifteen-year-old Thomas Savage finishing an impressive 20th across all categories above all the Senior Scholars.
The achievements of the Bromsgrove students are hard to beat and a tough act to follow, but this year’s competition will soon be underway with preparations for the Bangkok regional round commencing shortly. This year’s regional round will be hosted at Bromsgrove March 19-20, 2016, with the global round right on our doorsteps, as the World Scholar’s Cup are bringing the alpaca spirit to Bangkok in June 2016.
For more information about the World Scholar’s Cup, visit www.scholarscup.org
Bromsgrove International School is hosting the 2016 regional round of the World Scholar’s Cup in March. To learn more above Bromsgrove International School, visit www.bromsgrove.ac.thhttp://www.bromsgrove.ac.th/