The Quill

The Student News Site of BASIS Independent Silicon Valley

The Quill

The Quill

Another Day, Another WSC Slay


Whereas the vast majority of BISV students suffered this past summer in preparation for their upcoming math competitions, speech tournaments, or the dreaded SAT, twenty-seven students spent the summer competing in the World Scholar’s Cup in addition to suffering through the aforementioned.

The World Scholar’s Cup (WSC) is an international academic competition where teams of three compete in four different events: the Scholar’s Challenge (a very painful six-subject multiple-choice test on six different subjects), Collaborative Writing, Team Debate, and the Scholar’s Bowl (a less painful six-subject multiple-choice test). The six subjects in question are science, literature, art and music, social studies, history, and a special area. An outline for these subjects is released at the beginning of each year, which participants research with their teams. The debate and writing topics are based on these subjects as well, and often very unconventional. The competition begins in a regional round in the winter or spring (varying sizes, around 30,000 students total), a global round in the summer (around 1,500 for each round), and finally, in the Tournament of Champions (1,500 participants) at Yale University in November. Over this past summer, BISV Bobcats competed in four different global rounds and won a multitude of medals and trophies in every single event! (Except for writing, which is not real.) They also became proud parents of multicolored alpacas.

We began our global round journey in Seoul, South Korea. Two teams from BISV competed: one junior (middle school) and one senior (high school). Our junior team, consisting of Ellie M., Jacqueline C., and Joy G., won all three of their debates, and our senior team of Hanz B., Harly L., and Naman S. came 7th overall, bringing home five trophies and a multitude of unforgettable experiences. Among them, Joy and Harly were nominated for the judging panel of the Debate Showcase, an event where the best speakers from each country debate in front of an audience. They also received pulchritudinous alpacas, the insignia and mascot of the World Scholar’s Cup.

A few days later, another BISV junior team landed in London, England. Their team of Archit D., Aryav K., and Krishna B. came in 16th place, winning two trophies. Aryav K. was nominated for the panel of the Debate Showcase and came 11th overall. “I may not be Irish, but my money is still Dublin,” Aryav commented.

We shall now timeskip to late August, where yet another junior team competed in Bangkok, Thailand. They won all three of their debates as well, and 8th grader Iris C. was nominated for the panel of the Debate Showcase. Their team of Iris C., Saha N., and Sruthi M. placed 12th overall, with Sruthi M. placing 18th both overall and in the Challenge. 

The majority of our delegation, however, competed in a significantly more unusual global round in Xiamen in early August. The Challenge was painful as always, but the pain was mostly worth it. We will explain why later. Debate was overall a success, with our undefeated senior debate team consisting of 11th graders Aindra T., Sophia L., and Stephanie L. remaining undefeated. The bowl was an emotional rollercoaster featuring the highest highs, the lowest lows, and several loops. Since writing is extremely irrelevant, it shall graciously be skipped.

At the Cultural Fair, which featured multifarious cities rather than the forty countries typical of WSC due to the extremely large number of teams from China, we ran an incredibly successful stall where visitors could answer questions about San Jose or test their geography abilities in order to win some very American Welch’s Fruit Snacks. The Star-Spangled Banner was sung several times, and off-key in every one. 

In the words of several witnesses, BISV “absolutely dominated” the award ceremony. Kushi H. and Stephanie L. won 1st and 5th place in Senior Individual Debate respectively, not to mention Kushi completely (and I mean completely) stealing the show in the Debate Showcase earlier that week. The team of Aindra T., Sophia L., and Stephanie L. finished fourth overall in Team Debate. Despite the immense pain most of our delegation experienced during the Individual Writing portion of the award ceremony, Larry Z. and Nicole L. won 11th and 20th place respectively.

You may very well be wondering where the results of the painful Challenge are. Our answer? If BISV “absolutely dominated” the award ceremony, then we completely obliterated the Challenge, so much so that it deserves its own paragraph. All five teams won trophies in the Team Challenge, with our senior teams taking 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 8th place out of more than two hundred teams, and our junior team taking 1st. BISV students swept the senior individual top six, with the team of Aindra, Sophia, and Stephanie taking the top three spots respectively. All three, along with sophomore Vrinda I. and freshman Lauren Z. (4th and 5th place respectively), received six gold medals each; Callie C. finished sixth with five golds and one silver. Aindra, Sophia, and Lauren also collectively claimed 1st place in five of the six subjects. In the junior division, Lily Z. and Larry Z. placed 1st and 4th respectively, both winning six gold medals.

BISV students comprised five of the top ten individuals, a record for any school this year. Stephanie, Aindra, Kushi, Sophia, and Nicole placed 1st, 2nd, 5th, 7th, and 10th respectively.

Additionally, all our teams placed in the overall top 20: Kushi H., Annie Y., and Priya B. placed 14th; Margaret L., Nicole L., and Vrinda I. placed 7th; Larry Z., Lily Z., and Bryan M. placed 3rd in the junior division; Arkar T., Callie C., and Lauren Z. placed 3rd in the senior division; and Aindra T., Sophia L., and Stephanie L. placed 1st overall.

The lessons we learned throughout our journey were not only of the academic variety; interacting with cultures and visiting countries that may have been completely new to us was an enlightening experience that will last with us for many years to come. 

“I got the chance to meet a lot of new people even as a very introverted person,” Lauren informed us, quickly adding, “And it was very fun.”

Everyone emerged as better Mandarin speakers。

This November, seven teams from BISV will be participating in the next stage of the competition: the Tournament of Champions at Yale University. Last year, the team of Aindra, Sophia, and Stephanie placed first overall; this year, they will be defending their title from a multitude of teams from all around the world.

Shameless plug: The World Scholar’s Cup club at BISV is a winter/spring club (season starting in January) with juniors Aindra T., Stephanie L., and Sophia L. serving as club presidents and parent advisor Ms. Lynn serving as the coach and delegation leader. For further inquiries, please contact [email protected].

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Quill Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *