The World Scholar’s Cup regional round was successfully held in Shanghai in November 2020. 42 secondary students participated in the event. As a young team, it was the first time for many students to compete in the event and everyone came home with at least one medal, but many had more.
Jason won a gold medal in the Senior Team Debates alongside his teammates Oliver and Stephen. They also came 4th for Team Writing, 6th in the Scholar’s Bowl and were ranked 6th in the entire competition for their outstanding performance in the Senior Division. In individual competition, Jason won 3 gold medals, in addition to his Team Debate medal, for coming in the front rank in Debate and Collaborative Writing and for being NACIS’ Top Scholar in the Senior Division. His teammate Oliver also won several silver medals in individual competition.
In the Junior Division, Allen won 5 gold medals and was named as the best debater due to his fast reactions. Jacky won 5 gold medals in the Scholar’s Bowl, Social Studies, Science, Art and came 1st place in the entire Junior Division for History. Andy, Dakota and April’s team won a trophy for ranking 2nd in the Junior Division Scholar’s Bowl. Annie was selected to judge the Junior Debate Showcase.
What Is World Scholar’s Cup?
Originated in the United States, the World Scholar’s Cup is an academic-and-fun-filled activity for secondary students from more than 140 cities of over 70 countries. The championship final is officially sponsored and undertaken by Yale University in the United States. With the reputation of "Academic Olympics for Secondary Students", it attracts nearly 50,000 student representatives from all over the world to compete in both individual and team challenges.
What Are the Competition Areas?
Every year, there is a theme. Students prepare the competition in 6 different subject areas that revolve around the theme through interdisciplinary and inquiry learning. The six areas are: History, Science &Technology, Art &Music, Literature & Media, Special Area and Social studies. It aims to encourage “scholars” to draw inspiration from different subjects, develop their core attributes including team spirit, cross-cultural communication, creation and thinking, and grow into future leaders and lifelong learners.
We have stronger teams than last year. The 42 students were split into 14 teams (2 Senior and 12 Junior teams). Under the philosophy of “Be Ambitious”, they compete in 4 sections (Scholar’s Bowl, Collaborative Writing, Scholar’s Challenge and Team Debate) and 6 areas (History, Science &Technology, Art &Music, Literature & Media, Special Area and Social studies). Under the shadow of a global epidemic, the theme is “A world Renewed” for 2020. Students learn a great amount of knowledge and hold mock competitions around the theme.
As an international academic competition, it sets a variety of challenges for students. First, everything must be done in English: Debating, Writing, Reading challenging content and answering challenging questions.
Second, students must read and absorb a large chunk of reading materials in a short period of time covering various topics. In addition, there is a long list of questions for the students to crack after reading the articles. For instance, an article talking about succession issues in Asia-Pacific region required students to think out of their daily bounds—how to select successors in steering family-run businesses.
Third, Students are required to delve into a lot of resources on their own to learn unfamiliar topics. Above all, the need to be flexible in areas they have never touched, which is also a test of psychological quality.
In order to prepare well for the competition, our students participate in strict trainings under the guidance of the teacher during their ECA time.
We meet weekly for 90 minutes for intensive training. We usually divide our time between article analysis and debating training. Article analysis is a close-reading practice. Currently, cracking compound sentences, high-level vocabulary and understanding the structure of articles are targets of close reading. For debating, we are working hard to come up with arguments in concise language by providing convincing evidence. Our next step is to predict what our opponents may say and how we can rebut.
In addition to weekly ECA study time, scholars spend more time at home reading articles, news and reading out aloud to demonstrate their best state. We are looking forward to their better performance in the upcoming global round that will take place February.
Words from teacher Maggie:
As a WSC coach, I have never seen an event like this that combines intellectual challenge and fun so well. My students have been so passionate and motivated by this program. What matters to us are not only medals and ranks but dedication, teamwork and friendship.
Words from students
“WSC is such an interesting competition and it’s my first time competing in it. I have really improved my communication in English and now I know how to work together with my debate team. I can’t wait for the next competition!” – Tina G7
“One word: Fun! WSC is the perfect balance of academics and pure fun. Not only am I honing my English debating and writing skills, but I’m also learning how to really push myself to achieve my personal best. Being the youngest competitor in the Senior Division has motivated me to aspire to excel beyond my current capabilities; the biggest reward was the feeling of accomplishment I felt when I was presented with my medals at the end of one of the toughest competitions I’ve experienced so far.” - Oliver G8
“WSC is an excellent platform for communicating in English and sharing ideas with fellow students as well as students from other schools. There were many challenging activities, but it was a completely unforgettable and valuable experience. I’m grateful for the opportunity to collaborate and grow in such a relaxed environment. The WSC organizers crack me up – their wit and warmth make the learning environment (that could be really stressful) actually really fun!” – Stephen G9
In the competitive social environment, we may habitually enter into the "cycle" of mutual comparison, but sometimes excessive competition will backfire. The World Scholar’s Cup allows every student to try their best to run on their own track instead of defeating others.
In the positive atmosphere, students will look inward to find their expertise and stimulate the enthusiasm of inquiry and exploration. Let us celebrate the learning process more than the results.
We are looking forward to the better performance of our scholars in the upcoming global round that will take place February.
NACIS Extracurricular Activities (ECA)
We provide more than 200 kinds of extracurricular activities to create a colorful school life for students.
The NACIS sports team has participated in several regional and interschool leagues on behalf of school. The Extracurricular activities such as triathlons allow students to challenge their physical limits.
The academic clubs including World Scholar’s Cup, programming and project-based learning, etc., provide opportunities for students to develop and improve students' comprehensive ability in multiple dimensions.
As a bilingual school, we understand the importance of cultivating native language culture. The clubs such as Calligraphy which spread traditional Chinese culture help students remain rooted in native language culture.
The Performing Arts
As a strategic partner of Juilliard, we provide the professional stage performance opportunity for our students. Our choir have participated in large-scale performance activities on behalf of our school for many years, while our orchestras have also gained rich stage experience through many public performances. Through a semester of hard rehearsal, students from drama club performed the famous Shakespeare’s play Othello for teachers, students and parents.