School Debating: Where future leaders forge their skills

“If you get involved in debating and public speaking you will definitely go on to rule the world. Guaranteed.”
— Craig Reucassel, comedian and NSW Department of Education Ambassador for Speaking Competitions

Last week, Joe Nimmo of the BBC, asked, “Why have so many Prime Ministers gone to Oxford University?” Of Britain’s 54 elected heads of government, 27 were educated at Oxford making the university enormously politically influential. The answer, Nimmo concluded, lies in the prestigious Oxford Union debating society.  

Incorporating both parliamentary and persuasive speaking styles of debating, the Oxford Union is renowned for its competition success and defence of free speech. Its adherence to the House of Commons debating format makes it “the place where these parliamentarians of the future cut their teeth and learn how to debate,” Harrison Edmonds, president of the Oxford University Conservative Association, told the BBC. Continue reading “School Debating: Where future leaders forge their skills”

Full-STEAM ahead: The Scots College team wins NSW robotics competition

A team of budding engineers at The Scots College have claimed the state’s junior robot soccer crown for 2016.

Playing with machines that they built and programmed themselves, the boys led Scots to a 10-point victory in the NSW RoboCup Junior Championship soccer division held last month at the University of NSW.

Founded in 1997, RoboCup, short for Robot Soccer World Cup, is an international competition in which teams of university students field handmade robots in a soccer tournament. Australia has great form in this competition with the UNSW team winning the Standard Platform League division last year. Continue reading “Full-STEAM ahead: The Scots College team wins NSW robotics competition”

Going for gold

While Australia racks up the medals in Rio, another set of Olympians is doing the country proud this year: our competitors in the International Science Olympiads.

The Olympiads are a series of international science-based competitions for high school students held annually in various locations throughout the world.

Entry is restricted to the winners of each participating country’s national Olympiad, with a maximum of six students per science subject making it onto a national team.

With over 100 countries competing in 13 science-related fields, the championships are an elite event for the world’s smartest teenagers.

To qualify for an Olympiad is an incredible achievement in itself and to win a medal is a genius-level accomplishment. To win a medal at the International Mathematical Olympiad four years in a row would seem almost impossible; yet, that is exactly what Knox Grammar School Year 12 student Seyoon Ragavan managed this year. Continue reading “Going for gold”