The World Scholar’s Cup Introduction
History & Introduction
Founded by Daniel Berdichevsky the first World Scholar’s Cup took place in Korea in 2007: a small regional tournament hosted at the Hankuk Academy of Foreign Studies. The first “global” round followed a few weeks later, bringing together students from Korea, Singapore, and the United States.
The idea behind the World Scholar’s Cup was to create something different than traditional academic competitions and conferences: a celebration of the joy of learning, a tournament as rewarding for the team that came in last as the for the team that came in first, an enrichment opportunity that motivated students not just to demonstrate their existing strengths but to discover new ones.
Every team in the theater. Every team with a clicker. Every question harder than the one before. Your team will work together to solve analytic questions and multimedia challenges. Click your answers before time runs out, and don’t be surprised if you’re asked to connect a poem you studied to a clip from Game of Thrones.
You’ll be given six statements, each from a different subject area, and asked to choose one to argue for or against. You’ll first have 30 minutes to prepare with your teammates, then an hour by yourself to compose the most persuasive essay possible, then 15 more minutes to work together at the end. Here’s the catch: each member of your team has to choose a different topic.
It’s multiple choice, so make multiple choices. The Challenge looks like any other test, but with an alpaca-powered twist: you can mark more than one answer per question. The fewer you mark, the more points you can earn if you’re right. (Yes, that means you can finally guess C and D… and also A, B, and E.) Apply your knowledge of the six subjects successfully and you can win medals in one, two, or all of them.
You’ll soon discover what all World Scholars do: that even if you think you’re an expert in science, you might win a medal in the arts, and that the best way to prepare for a test that touches on everything is to talk through it all with your team, day by day.
Each team debates three times, on motions across all the subjects, from policy to poetry. You may be arguing whether parents should have access to surveillance cameras at schools—or whether women make better superheroes. Debate is your chance to apply all that you’ve learned to make the most persuasive case you can. And, win or not, after each debate, you’ll give the other team feedback on how to improve.
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