A GIS high school team practiced thinking and presenting at a high-level international event recently.
“The ‘Biomedical Challenge’ in Singapore became reality, because of parents’ willingness to help their 16 incredible sons and daughters participate. It was a gamble to attend, since it was our first time at this competition or any academic challenge on this scale. And it paid off; the students’ attitudes, perseverance, and brilliance surpassed my wildest expectations! Parents can be very proud of them,” Science teacher Andrew May said.
“I learned what it’s like to feel like an absolute failure,” one student said, after Day 1 unnerved the team. Yet GIS chaperones watched them pull themselves together Day 2, with a totally renewed attitude.
Nine GIS students, grades 9-10, were in “Olympiad,” presenting individually — all earned medals, six scored gold. Our seven 11-12 graders had “Symposium” competition, working alone, plus as a group, but all earned medals by individual scores — two earned gold.
“The intensity of competition was exhilarating and way beyond what I’ve ever experienced; totally enjoyable!” another student said.
Age was not a factor. Younger GIS students worked so hard that they were in no way disadvantaged, and they earned huge respect as a result, among the seven other competing international schools.
“We learned, ‘You reap what you sow.’ And, even when the bar is very high, it is possible to succeed — if we are prepared to work for it,” a student said.
GIS is grateful to Singapore’s Anglo-Chinese Junior College for inviting our team to compete and for waiving entrance fees. The college also fed students, chaperones Andrew and Esther May, and secondary librarian Zoe Chick during competition. The final day, Singapore hosted the team at Sentosa Island and surprised them that evening with a buffet at the Hard Rock Hotel — a spectacular ending.
“Competition was horribly difficult indeed. It stretched every student to their absolute limit. Each team member truly earned a medal. They grew intellectually and learned important lessons about themselves. They made Grace proud!” Science head Andrew May said.