3 Pinay students top global round of prestigious ‘nerd Olympics’ in Prague

It’s a great time to be a nerd!

Students from the Immaculate Conception Academy in Greenhills, San Juan, bested 100 teams from 25 countries in the global round of World Scholars’ Cup — known fondly as the Nerd Olympics — held from July 22-26 in Prague.

Other Philippine schools have sent delegates directly to WSC rounds abroad in previous years, but the ICA team was the first to emerge from a local round, which was held for the first time in Xavier School on Jul 9 to 10.

In that local round, Miriam College won the top two spots.

WSC was started in 2007 by Daniel Berdichevsky in Korea and has since grown to include participation from over 50 countries. 

Instead of testing knowledge traditionally, it seeks to hone skills as well as critical and analytical thinking through debates, collaborative writing and knowledge tests.

The theme for 2016 is “An Imperfect World” and contestants were given a suggested reading list, videography and questions to cover six subject areas — justice, public health, history, literary, the arts and social studies. 

Some political (“Are hermit states more likely to fail? Is Belgium a failed state?”) and some a bit more quirky (“If there were a zombie apocalypse, which countries would best respond?”), according to Vancouver Sun

This year, two global rounds were held, one in Bangkok last June, and another in Prague this month. The winners from those two global rounds will compete in the Tournament of Champions in Yale University this November.

Members of the Philippine team in Prague, who qualified under WSC’s junior division, are ICA high schoolers Alexa Jeanne Loste, Audrey Sy and Annette Yuyucheng.

They received 10 trophies and a couple of dozen subject medals. 

As a team, the ICA girls won first place in Debate, second place in Writing, first place Regional Team, second place Overall Global Round Team Champions.

Individually, Loste won first place Champion Scholar, first place Champion Writer, and first place Overall Student.

Apart from ICA, joining the Tournament of Champions in Yale later this year are two teams from Miriam College.

There are no cash prizes. Winners only get trophies and a doll of the tournament mascot, the alpaca.

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