Thursday 29 June
With one day remaining of the World Scholar’s Cup itinerary, the students have written, debated, quizzed and danced their hearts out. The standard of the competition has been high, and our students all agree that the challenges have been much tougher than the regional round in Melbourne. However, the Ballarat Clarendon College contingent have risen to the challenges, even to the challenge of coping with the heat.
Tuesday saw 2,000 junior scholars in two different schools competing in the Scholar’s Challenge, which is debating and collaborative writing. The Scholar’s Challenge is a multiple-choice quiz with a difference – competitors can select as many options as they choose for each question, with the available points diminishing as they select more answers. For example, a single correct answer scores 1 point, but if two answers are selected and one is correct then only 0.5 point is scored. Students had to not only master the huge World Scholar’s Cup curriculum, but also make links between topics and look beyond the curriculum. The debate included such topics as “That sport should be compulsory for all students” and “That countries need leaders who are larger-than-life”. The collaborative writing challenge saw teams of three choose a topic each from six available to write on, with time to plan together before writing.
Wednesday was the last competitive round of the tournament, with students sitting in an auditorium with over 700 other teams completing the Scholar’s Bowl, a timed quiz in which teams could work together to answer increasingly challenging multiple-choice questions. This was followed by the all-important distribution of the WSC mascot, alpaca stuffed toys. The afternoon was a chance to admire and learn from the talents of the other competitors as students watched a Showcase of the best debaters of the competition and a talent show. The evening saw our students showcasing Australian culture (and getting people to try Vegemite) and exploring the culture of other countries in the Cultural Fair.
Thursday was a rest day from the WSC competition, and gave us a chance to explore some of the cultural sights of Hanoi. Students visited Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and Palace, the Temple of Literature (the oldest University in Vietnam at over 1,000 years old) and learn about the culture of the different ethnic groups of Vietnam at the Ethnology Museum. Finally, there was a chance to strut their stuff at the Scholar’s Ball in the evening.
All that remains of the competition now is the breathless wait for tomorrow’s results. Stay tuned…