Pinay students bag 90 medals and 3 trophies in prestigious World Scholar’s Cup at Yale

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Miriam College students who participated in the junior division hold the Philippine flag proudly. Photo courtesy of Miriam College.

Filipina middle school and high school students from Miriam College emerged triumphant at the World Scholar’s Cup Tournament of Champions, hosted by the Yale International Relations Association and held in Yale University in the United States from November 10 to 14.

According to a press release, students Mary Katherine DJ San Miguel, Aleeza Moira Tiongson, and Alyssa Santana competed as a team in the Team Debate, Collaborative Writing, Scholar’s Bowl (a group quiz bee), and Scholar’s Challenge (a multiple-choice test where you can choose more than one answer) events. They earned a total of 29 gold medals, 21 silver medals, and three trophies as part of the senior division (students 15 years old and above).

The team ranked ninth, besting more than 300 junior and senior division teams in the final rounds of the WSCToC. They were also declared Top 1 in Southeast Asia for the same division.

2,200 scholars from 50 countries competed in the senior division. Nine other schools from the Philippines also competed, with Immaculate Conception Academy getting the Top 10 spot.

In the junior division, the 13-member team made up of Alize Madayag, Juliana Guillermo, Samantha Arcenas, Leica Cecilia, Joie Ocampo, Jiana Lim, Marina Fagela, Keithley Mirandilla, Katrina Asedillo, Angela Lim, Monnica Carbonilla, Alyssa Salazar, and Maxene De Castro won a total of 23 individual silver medals, 22 individual gold medals, nine team silver medals, and six team gold medals in the Team Debate, Collaborative Writing, Scholar’s Bowl, and Scholar’s Challenge events.

Almost 1,200 scholars competed in the junior division (students 14 years old and below). Lim finished second place in the Literature category of the Scholar’s Challenge, while Asedillo placed seventh, also in the same category. Lim landed 12th overall in the individual ranking of the WSCToC.

“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,” its website said.

The World Scholar’s Cup is “inclusive, encouraging, interdisciplinary, discussion-based, forward-looking, team-oriented, (and) whimsical,” and it aims “to motivate students of all backgrounds to discover new strengths and practice new skills,” and “to inspire a global community of future scholars and leaders.”

“It was overwhelming to be among other scholars from various countries, but we did not let that dishearten us,” Tiongson said. “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.”

Her team’s coach, Amity Yap, noted that this was the highest ranking the school had ever achieved since participating in the event six times.

“It’s important to note that WSC does not measure 100 percent 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,” she said.

This year’s theme is “Unlikely World”, which guides the students on the coverage of the events’ topics, which they read and research on their own, according to a press release.

The subjects are Science and Technology (“To Shoot for the Moon”), History (“History of Conspiracy”), Literature (“Voices of the Almost Impossible”), Art and Music (“Fragments of an Improbable Universe”), Social Studies (“Predicting the Future”), and Modern Mythologies.