Girls Top Auckland World Scholar’s Cup

May 02, 2017 at 10:48 AM

In a weekend of academic competition, a team of three Middle College girls topped the Auckland round of the World Scholar’s Cup, paving the way to international competition! 

Amelie Murphy, Josie Lu and Heeju Rho were originally entered in the Junior round, but with insufficient interest from other schools at this age level, they were moved to join the Senior event, alongside a team of three of our own Senior boys, Ben Shepherd, Richard Lu, Ben Fraser. The girls punched above their weight with their combined results placing them as Senior Champions and overall Scholars’ Bowl winners! The boys’ team placed 5th overall in a strong field of contenders. 

The original 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, an enrichment opportunity that motivated students not just to demonstrate their existing strengths but to discover new ones.’ 

The first World Scholar’s Cup took place in Korea in 2007; a small regional tournament that was followed by the first ‘global’ round a few weeks later, bringing together students from Korea, Singapore and the United States. Since then, the World Scholar’s Cup has grown to reach tens of thousands of students in dozens of countries with the ultimate goal of working through the regions to take part in the final at Yale University. 

The global competition took the theme ‘An Unlikely World’ for the 2017 round. In preparation, students focussed on six areas with broad ranging themes: 

Special Area                      Modern Mythologies
Science & Technology    To Shoot for the Moon
History                                History of Conspiracy
Literature                           Voices of the Almost Impossible
Art & Music                       Fragments of an Improbable Universe
Social Studies                   Predicting the Future

The weekend was split into four different components: 
Collaborative writing in which the teams were given six statements, choosing three to write persuasive essays either affirming or negating.
Team debating where teams were allocated to either affirm or negate on interesting moots such as, ‘Should communicate with the dead?’ 
The Scholars Challenge where teams worked individually to answer one hundred and twenty multi-choice questions about the 2017 six areas of focus in the space on one hour.
And lastly the Scholars’ Bowl, a fast paced competitionwhere each team worked with a ‘clicker’ to try and be the first to answer a series of difficult questions over all aspects of each topic. 

The win in Auckland has opened horizons for these students with the next rounds, should they choose to enter one, to be held in Hanoi, Vietnam; Athens, Greece; or Cape Town, South Africa. 

Well done to all six students for representing themselves and Saint Kentigern with distinction. 

Girls’ Team
Amelie Murphy, Josie Lu, Heeju Rho


Senior Champions Team 1st
Overall Scholar Bowl Cup
Scholars Bowl 1st Overall
Writing Teams 2nd Overall
Scholars Challenge Team 2nd
Junior Debate Team Cup
Junior Scholars Challenge Team Cup
Junior Scholars Bowl Cup
Junior Writing Team Cup
Overall Champion Team Junior Division Cup

Amelie Murphy


Scholars Challenge Art 2nd
Scholars Challenge History 3rd
Scholars Challenge Special Area- Modern Mythology 1st

Josie Lu


Junior Top Scholar Cup
Writing Champions 3rd|
Scholars Challenge Literature 2nd
Champion Scholar Overall 7th

Heeju Rho


Writing Champions 9th
Scholars Challenge Literature 5th


Boys’ Team 
Ben Shepherd, Richard Lu, Ben Fraser

Senior Champion Team 5th
Scholars Bowl 5th Overall
Debate Team 5th Overall
Writing Team 4th Overall
Scholars Challenge 8th Overall 

Ben Fraser


Champion Scholar 1st
Senior Top Scholar Cup
Debate Champions 4th
Writing Champions 4th
Scholars Challenge Science 5th
School Top Scholar

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