Calamvale Scholars reign victorious

In a truly astounding triumph, Calamvale Community College has emerged as the only school in Queensland to be recognised as a Champion Team in the Junior Division of the World Scholar’s Cup, defeating more than 290 teams from across the globe.

In mid-August, our talented teams travelled to Melbourne to compete in the Cup’s Global Round against more than 1,500 scholars from 27 countries, including Indonesia, China, Singapore, India, and Zimbabwe. Both our Senior and Junior students walked away with several gold and silver medals for writing and the Scholar’s Challenge.

Back in April, Calamvale tentatively entered into the World Scholar’s Cup, and walked away with multiple accolades. In the 2018 Brisbane Round, Calamvale’s Junior Division team was crowned the Overall Champion, awarded first place in the Scholar’s Bowl, and took home bronze for both Challenge and Writing events.

The Cup’s theme for 2018 – An Entangled World – resonates across the intertwined and inseparable subject areas of History, Arts and Music, Science, Social Studies, and Literature. This interdisciplinary entanglement is by no means superficial; competitors must commit to significant study and preparation beyond the comfort of the classroom.

They must delve into complex, real-life issues such as the ethics of cryptocurrency and black market trade, the history of conspiracy, and the veracity of flashbulb memory. Competitors also participate in collaborative events including scavenger hunts, keynote speeches, panel discussions, and a talent show.

Literature Challenge Subject winner – Sofia Juria – said, “I was very excited to debate with my teammates and demonstrate the skills we’ve learned in past training sessions. Outside of the academic events, I couldn’t wait to present in the talent show and explore the city, not to mention adopt another alpaca!”

Tavpreet Kaur, another member of winning Scholar’s Bowl team, reflected on her excitement for the Cup’s Global Round. “This was an amazing opportunity to represent the school in a different city for debating and trivia. We presented in the Talent Show as the TIM TAM TEAM and participated in the Scholar’s Fair and the Scholar’s Ball. The biggest highlight was definitely adopting another, bigger alpaca!”

Despite our students’ palpable excitement for the Cup’s mascot alpacas and entertaining event highlights, this competition is no walk in the park. The World Scholar’s Cup requires entrants to consider, apply, and extrapolate their knowledge in unexpected and confronting ways.

In the Scholar’s Bowl, for example, competitors must solve analytical and multimedia challenges under extreme time pressure, keep up with questions of increasing difficulty, and persevere against opponents shouting out incorrect answers.

In the Collaborative Writing event, competitors must consider the strengths and weakness of their fellow teammates as they each choose a different persuasive essay prompt from a selection of six statements. The Cup also complicates multiple-choice questions in The Scholar’s Challenge by raising the stakes – competitors can select more than one option as correct, but the more answers, the lower the question’s weighting.

The College’s organising teacher, Ruth Smith, has dedicated countless hours to preparing her students for this Global Round in Melbourne. “The teams have been preparing outside school time, researching in the subject areas as well as preparing to use their knowledge across all of the subjects in the Scholar’s Challenges. This has taken great dedication from our students, and will place them in excellent standing for the competition.”

Despite such manifestly mind-numbing challenges, the College has firmly entered into this global thought arena with multiple trophies and personal commendations from the organisers. Our students continue to excel on regional, national, and international stages – be it sporting victories and hospitality medals here in Brisbane, to global gambits in Melbourne and robot challenges in Tokyo.

For now, our superb teams have set their sights on global success – let’s hope that their inaugural entry into the World Scholar’s Cup continues to yield unprecedented triumphs.