Thailand’s brightest students win trip to Seoul at this year’s Bright Challenge

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Thailand's brightest students win trip to Seoul at this year's Bright Challenge

Thailand’s brightest students win trip to Seoul at this year’s Bright Challenge


Farida Waller

The 2023 Bright Challenge brought some 250 secondary students from 32 schools across Thailand together to battle it out for the top prize – a weeklong science trip to Seoul.

The contest, held on Wednesday at the Panyapiwat Convention Hall in Nonthaburi, was organised by the Bright Group in collaboration with Nation TV, the Nation and Bangkok Biz News. The Bright Group is a provider of English-language educational programmes to leading government and private schools in Thailand.

The winner of this year’s contest was Suankularb Wittayalai Rangsit School, with team members exclaiming “this is a dream come true”, as they were handed their winnings.

“I believe this [the contest] will not only inspire students to develop their skills but also support them in pursuing further education and succeed in their chosen career,” Adisak Limparugpatannakij, special advisor to Nation Group, (Thailand) Public Company Limited, said.

He added that English-language school curricula should focus on developing students’ proficiency via modern teaching methods and student-centred activities.

Nicolas Newell, managing director of the Bright Group, believes that if an English programme has good resources and is well managed, it can give students all the benefits of an English education within the Thai school system.

Thailand's brightest students win trip to Seoul at this year's Bright Challenge

This means, students will get to absorb Thai culture and values while studying with native English speakers at the fraction of the cost of an international school, he said.

The contest, meanwhile, had 32 teams with three members each going through four rounds in the competition.

The first round was the Big Quiz, which had the teams answering 60 brainteasers in the subjects of English, maths, science and geography, as well as riddles. The teams had 30 seconds to come up with the correct answer.

The second round presented a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) challenge, with teams being given materials to build a catapult in 10 minutes.

Each team was given three chances to show whose projectile went the furthest. This round was the liveliest with audience members yelling in support of their favourite team.

The third round was Show Time, with each team being required to enter a photo booth and devise creative ways of depicting their team and their school.

Thailand's brightest students win trip to Seoul at this year's Bright Challenge

Special prizes for the second and third rounds went to Buriram Pitthayakhom School and Panyapiwat Institute of Management Demonstration School (Satit PIM), respectively.

“Make it fun, make it safe, allow yourself to make mistakes and make it about communication,” Parit Wacharasindhu CEO of Education Technology Company Limited, told the contestants. Education Technology is the developer of the StartDee application.

After the first three rounds, judges announced the four finalists, namely Streesmutprakan School, Saint Joseph Convent School, Potisarnpittayakorn School and Suankularb Wittayalai Rangsit School.

The finalists then had to face three rounds. In the first round, the team with the highest number of points got to choose the subject and level of difficulty.

The first two rounds saw teams pressing the buzzer, with the quickest one being given a chance to answer the question. Each question carried 100 to 500 points based on the level of difficulty, and though the contestants had the chance of earning higher points, they also got their points deducted if the answer was incorrect.

The second round, which also lasted about 25 minutes, was similar. Both rounds covered topics like

emoji meanings, uncertainty, being forceful, adjectives, flags of the world and great minds.

In the final round, there was just one question, but each team had to put their total score up as a wager for the correct answer.

However, all four teams answered correctly, so the top prize went to the school with the highest score, which in this case was Suankularb Wittayalai Rangsit School with a whopping 5,600 points.

Farida Waller

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