A chance to shine on the world stage
I am delighted to be able to welcome the occasional Guest Blogger to post an article on these pages, particularly when I can persuade one of our students to contribute. This time it is the turn of Kyoka Hadano (Year 8) who shares with us the story of her recent experiences with Team BST in The Scholars’ Cup in Dubai. Every one of the 15 qualifiers proved to be an outstanding ambassador for the school, and their achievements certainly served as a fitting finale to a year of high achievement across the board.
One of the many advantages of being in BST is that we all embrace different cultures and have a passionate desire to learn. This led to us stepping onto the marble floors of the American University in Dubai for the Global Round of the World Scholar’s Cup, featuring 1600 participants from countries all over the world, every one of them with a burning ambition to learn and celebrate learning. Quite apart from the chance to participate in a global academic competition, it was an amazing experience for all 15 of the BST participants.
Having all won through to the global round after the intense and exciting regional heats here in Tokyo, we found that Dubai was even more intense and exciting, and it wasn’t just the heat. The actual atmosphere of the 1600 students buzzing with anticipation and just a little trepidation inside the auditorium of the World Scholar’s Cup would make anyone’s mouth gape!
We had to do a lot though. For example, we had to study different subjects (Literature, the Arts, Current Affairs, Science, History and the Special Area – A Turbulent World) all focused on a particular theme – The World in Motion. We took part in many different challenges, activities and tests: Collaborative Writing, in which we each wrote persuasive essays on the different subjects we had to study; The Scholar’s Challenge, where we had an individual, multiple choice test on each subject; Debating, when we worked in our teams of three to debate against other schools on a wide variety of topics; and The Scholar’s Bowl, in which we also worked in our teams with a clicker to be the first to answer a range of questions, including some on the media and questions using visual diagrams.
We also had the fantastic opportunity to make friends with people from all over the globe in events such as: The Scholar’s Ball, an event similar to that of an American prom; and The Scavenger Hunt, which was located in Dubai Mall, and where we were put into teams with people from other schools and sent to complete a wide list of challenges. These included staging a giant flash mob, riding a camel, and winning a Bentley. I can assure you that it was all very exciting!
All our hard work paid off though – BST had stunning results, with everybody doing their best. Anik Parayil was awarded medals in Current Affairs, Literature and Science, with 3rd place overall in The Scholar’s Challenge; Sean Peedle won medals in Science and Current Affairs; Jeric Chong received an honorary mention in Debate; Sophia Wilson was the highest scorer from BST as well as getting an honorary mention in Collaborative Writing; and I received a medal for being 4th in Collaborative Writing. A team with Sean, Anik and Leela came 9th overall in The Team Scholar’s Challenge, and Sophia, Jeric and I were the 3rd best rookie team.
We are now waiting excitedly to hear if any of our teams have qualified for The Champion of Champions final in Yale University in November, but I am sure that we can all agree that Team BST tried very hard and that we did an amazing job. All 15 of us would like to express our deepest gratitude to everyone in the BST community for helping us to get there, and we offer particular thanks to Ms Yamada, Ms Kwaszenko and, of course, to Dr Reilly – his support and guidance was invaluable.
For more information about The Scholars’ Cup, follow this link: http://new.scholarscup.org/