Published: 24 April 2019

World Scholars Cup

St James College entered a senior team and one junior student into the World Scholar's Cup for the first time this year.  The students all did excellently and have all qualified to attend the Global Round being held in Melbourne in August.  See below for the Long Version and some photos, because I'm pretty proud and super excited...

What is this World Scholar's Cup?  This year's theme for the competition  was "An Entangled World" and in the lead up to the Round, students are given 6 topics to research covering all subjects (science, art, music, literature, economics, social science).  As preparation the boys met me two morning tea times a week and we discussed one of the topics and I then I'd set them homework to study the topic further.  Full credit to the boys who actually engaged in this and learned a lot. Take a look below if you're interested in the actual areas of study and sample questions: 

Schools then enter teams (this happens all over the world) into their local Regional Round.  In Brisbane, the comp was held at Churchie (4 - 5 April) with 220 participants aged between 11 and 20.  The aim of the comp is to focus on learning and having fun. There are four rounds - debating, collaborative writing, multiple choice test (of 120 questions in a 1 hour time limit) and scholar's bowl where the teams have a "clicker" and click their response to the questions on the big screen.  Teams earn points along the way and to qualify for the Global Round, they have to get to a certain number of points.  This is what I like about this comp - it's a benchmark, not a "top three teams go through."

The mascot is a huge rainbow Alpaca called "Jerry"  and the organisers challenge the scholars to confront their "awkwardness" over the two days by hugging Alpaca plushies, doing embarrassing celebration dances when they get answers correct, and addressing ridiculous topics like "does pineapple belong on pizza?"  It's all very Gen-Z with the organisers barely out of their teens themselves and talking a lot about "streaks" on Snapchat   The key thing is the students really enjoyed themselves.

Our Team. Our Senior team Peter Fowler, Maror Guot and Samueli Ernest.  Our Junior is Thomas McGarry (yr 7) who joined a Year 8 Churchie team. Thomas' awesome dad volunteered as an adjudicator which was such a huge help. Thanks also to Amanda Moss who assisted by attending the closing ceremony with our team. 

How did we go? Three of the boys received medals!  Thomas and his two Churchie team mates came SECOND PLACE in the whole junior division.  Samueli achieved SECOND PLACE and Maror achieved THIRD PLACE in the Da Vinci Senior Scholars Award (which is given for well-rounded high scores in each of the four events).    

This means all four boys have qualified to go to the Global Round, one of which (luckily) is being held in Melbourne this year (usually it's places like Singapore or somewhere else very far away).  Needless to say, though, there will be some fundraising happening next term to help these boys get there.