Every team in the theater. Every team with a clicker. Every question more surprising than the one before. Your team will work together to solve analytic questions and multimedia challenges. Click your answers before time runs out, and don’t be surprised if you’re asked to connect a poem you studied to a clip from Brooklyn 99.
It’s loud. You might even hear a team "accidentally" say the wrong answer too loudly—hoping you’ll click it.
It's strategic. What will you and your teammates do when you disagree?
Remember, it's not the first team to answer correctly that gets all the credit. You’re all racing the clock. But, the clock is fast and the stakes are high.
Speak with the power of your pen (or pencil!) You’ll be given six prompts, from each of the six subject areas, ranging from creative scenarios to explore to persuasive arguments to make. Two easy rules to remember: as a team you only need to write three of the six, and each of you needs to answer a different prompt. You’ll first have time to prepare together, then time by yourself to write the most compelling piece possible, then one last chance to review one another's work at the end. Whether you craft a poem or compose a five-paragraph essay, make sure your work excites and challenges you, because that means it'll excite and challenge your reader too.
It’s multiple choice, so make multiple choices. The Challenge looks like any other test, but with an alpaca-powered twist: you can mark more than one answer per question. The fewer you mark, the more points you can earn if you’re right. (Yes, that means you can finally guess C and D... and also A, B, and E.) Apply your knowledge of the six subjects successfully and you can win medals in one, two, or all of them.
You’ll soon discover what all World Scholars do: that even if you think you’re an expert in science, you might win a medal in the arts, and that the best way to prepare for a test that touches on everything is to talk through it all with your team, day by day.
Play your cards right, and you could earn enough medals to warrant a neck brace.
Each team debates three times, on motions across all the subjects, from policy to poetry. You may be arguing whether parents should have access to surveillance cameras at schools—or whether women make better superheroes. Debate is your chance to apply all that you’ve learned to make the most persuasive case you can. And, win or not, after each debate, you’ll give the other team feedback on how to improve.
Each of you will speak up to 4 minutes. But first, you’ll have 15 minutes to research your argument, with full access to the Internet. Use your time—and choose your sources—wisely!
Two-thirds of our students have never debated before; over half are EFL learners. The rest sign up because they’re debaters. For new debaters, it’s a great introduction; for experienced debaters, it’s a challenging new style.
Sample motions from 2014:
After each round, each team gives constructive feedback to the other team on how to improve. Winning teams then face other winners—and non-winners other non-winners. The result: the teams with the least experience have the opportunity to gain more, and everyone becomes a better debater by the end of the day.