Two teams of ambitious Crimson Global Academy (CGA) students competed in the Middle School Ethics Olympiad against 10 other teams from New Zealand. While it was CGA’s first time competing, our participating teams took 3rd and 4th place, a well-deserved and proud achievement! The teams, led by coaches Di Austin and Isla McKnight, volunteered to compete in the Olympiad spurred by their interest in debate, critical thinking, and intellectual curiosity.
The Ethics Olympiad is distinctly different from traditional debate competitions, as it relies more on critical thinking and building upon arguments instead of simply refuting your opponent's viewpoint with your own perspective. In fact, the format of the Ethics Olympiad rewards teams who engage in civil, respectful dialogue instead of aggressive rebuttals.
Over the course of 10 weeks, the two CGA teams prepared intensively by studying past scenarios and learning the intricacies of the Ethics Olympiad format. Students practiced their collaborative skills, having to build upon each other’s arguments and viewpoints, learning to be more nuanced in their claims and assertions. Our students cherished the opportunity to draw from a variety of different fields in order to construct stronger arguments. While none of the students or teachers had prior experience with the competition, everyone was motivated by their desire to learn and compete.
The day of the competition was a challenging experience; not only did students have to be fresh and engaged for 6 hours of the competition, but many of the CGA students who competed were based in different time zones, many hours behind their opposing teams. This meant that some CGA students had to wake up at 4 am in order to participate, showing true dedication.
The competition was held online via Zoom. Most of the teams were together in the same room while constructing and delivering their arguments; while CGA teams were not physically located in the same room and had to communicate everything via our internal communication platform.
Collaborating online with classmates is at not a foreign concept to our students. When the competition got underway, it was clear that the weeks of rigorous preparation had served them well, and their competitive spirit helped them overcome any nervousness.
While it was CGA’s first time at the Ethics Olympiad, it did not show as our teams placed 3rd and 4th overall within our division! Even more exciting is the fact that the 3rd place team now moves on to compete internationally against schools from all over the world in February 2023!
“We’re extremely proud of our students and wish to recognize the following teams for their achievements - you’ve made all of the staff and students at CGA proud!” - Bob Fan, University Admissions Counselor