A first in Queensland: Calamvale Scholars reign victorious

Emerging triumphant against thousands of competitors from across 50 countries and more than 290 teams, students from Calamvale Community College have been invited to Yale University in the United States to compete in a global gambit against schools from across the world.

This competition – the World Scholar’s Cup – maintains a prestigious reputation and is considered one of the most comprehensive and formidable contests offered to students worldwide.
In a truly astounding victory, Calamvale Community College has emerged as the only school in Queensland to be recognised as a Champion Team in the Junior Division of the Cup’s Global Round. The College’s students also walked away with several gold and silver medals across multiple events.

This Cup journey for Calamvale has been months in the making – their students entered into this global thought area back in April during the regional Brisbane Round. Here, the Junior Division team picked up their first trophy as Overall Champion.

Now, our talented local students have the opportunity to travel to Yale University with the ambition of being crowned Tournament Champions.
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.
The Cup requires scholars to consider, apply, and extrapolate their knowledge in unexpected and confronting ways. 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 participate across collaborative events including scavenger hunts, keynote speeches, and panel discussions.

The College’s Executive Principal Lisa Starmer commended her students, saying that they strongly exemplified the curious, creative, and clever mindset for which the school is widely known.
“This isn’t any ordinary competition – these students are tackling real-world issues with all the boldness, tenacity, and ingenuity required from international diplomats. To participate and perform so impressively against such competition shows that the problem solving and critical thinking skills of our students are second to none,” she said.
The College’s organising teacher, Ruth Smith, has dedicated countless hours to preparing her students for this unique competition. She sees the Cup as an invaluable opportunity for her students. “Our teams continue to extend themselves – they have been preparing outside of school, researching in the subject areas, and building their interdisciplinary skills. This has taken great dedication from our students, and their commitment will place them in excellent standing for the competition,” she said.

Despite a steep learning curve, Calamvale Community College has firmly entered into this global tournament with multiple trophies and personal commendations from the organisers.
As for the students, they seem unfazed by the monumental challenges ahead. They’re cool, calm and collected, and they have their sights locked on nabbing bigger and better alpacas – the Cup’s furry mascot.

“I am very excited to debate with my teammates and demonstrate the skills we’ve learned in past training sessions. Outside of the academic events, I can’t wait to adopt another alpaca!” said Sofia Juria, a member of the winning Junior team.

This year’s competitors have all been members of the College’s APEX program which supports gifted and talented students. The College has solidified its commitment to preparing students for global futures by gaining accreditation as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School.
An IB qualification – recognised in over 75 countries and 2,000 universities across the world – will unlock international opportunities for its most capable students. The College will offer the IB Diploma and Primary Years Programmes in 2019.
For now, Calamvale’s students have set their sights on international success – let’s hope that their inaugural entry into the World Scholar’s Cup continues to yield unprecedented triumphs.