It took attitude, dedication, and independence for 16 all-female students to take home the glory from the World Scholar's Cup (WSC), says Amity Yap, one of the coaches of the Middle School and High School students from Miriam College who competed in the international event. A total of 2,200 scholars from 50 countries all over the world competed at the event, which was held this year at Yale University in the U.S. last November 10 to 14.
The team of high school students Mary Katherine DJ San Miguel, Aleeza Moira Tiongson, and Alyssa Santana ranked 9th in the final rounds of the WSC Tournament of Champions where there were 300 senior division teams. They earned a total of 29 gold medals, 21 silver medals, and three trophies. They were declared top 1 in Southeast Asia after competing in team debate, collaborative writing, and group quiz bee, among others.
“It was overwhelming to be among other scholars from various countries, but we did not let that dishearten us,” said Tiongson. “The team is indeed delighted, grateful, and proud that we were not only able to bring honor and pride to our families but also to our school and country.”
The junior division team, composed of 13 middle school students, age 14 and below, also experienced their share of victory. Students Jiana Lim and Katrina Asedillo won 2nd and 7th place, respectively, for the literature category. Lim also grabbed the 12th spot overall in the Scholar's Challenge among 1,200 competing scholars.
Overall, the junior division team took home 22 individual gold medals, 23 individual silver medals, nine team silver medals, and six team gold medals.
The World Scholar's Cup sets itself apart from other competitions for placing value not just in textbook knowledge, but also in the joy of learning. The tournament tests students in science, literature, history and social studies but also in topics like modern mythology. To prepare for the competition, the students had the theme as guide, "The Unlikely World."
“WSC does not measure 100% academic knowledge but the attitude, dedication, and independence of its scholars when given topics that are not exactly taught in schools. These three qualities cannot be taught, but are acquired by the students – to win in WSC is to reflect how holistic the learners are,” said coach Yap.
Aside from team and individual events, community-building activities also take place at WSC, according to the event’s website. They hold talent shows where skills range from dancing to reciting math constants, student fairs where participants get to share their culture and traditions with fellow participants, and opportunities to attend talks by guest speakers from leading universities.
Nine other schools from the Philippines also competed at WSC, with Immaculate Conception Academy making it to 10th place in the senior division.