On March 11, we partnered with the Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, the Global Business Center, and the World Affairs Council to host the Washington State Regional Euro Challenge.
Students from Inglemoor High School (Kenmore) and Newport High School (Bellevue) went head to head in what would become an extremely close competition. The prize for the State competition is a free trip to New York City to compete at the National Semi-Finals, and the teams were excited.
“I can’t believe there is something like this for all 9th and 10th graders in Washington,” said Emily Bass, a student from Inglemoor. Read more of her interview about the challenge and its impact, here.
The judges of this year’s competition were also enthusiastic to see how the young students would solve some of the biggest issues facing Europe today.
“To think that they would have these ideas about how to solve unemployment or increase revenue,” explained judge and EU Fellow, Ernesto Penas Lado, “it is really remarkable.”
Inglemoor started the competition, focusing on high unemployment in Cyprus. They looked at renewable energy as a new job sector, refocusing on boosting Cyprus’s competitiveness on the world stage and providing short term job solutions. They also developed a long-term solution, which emphasized promoting tourism across the small nation. They spoke of cleaning up the rural villages and historic towns and ruins, and promoting Cyprus’ natural environments beyond its current beach destinations. This, they argued, would help create and maintain long-term jobs in hospitality and transportation, saying that “transportation has the potential to improve systematic issues facing Cyprus”.
Next Newport presented their idea to bring innovation to Italy. The ultimate goal of their proposal was to increase foreign investment in intangible goods, like research, science, technology and development, boosting Italy’s recessed economy and once again making it a leading world-player in the global market.
“Innovation creates new markets and keeps companies competitive,” argued Newport. They focused on moving past “quick-fix” solutions that only provided temporary economic support.
After the presentations, the judges deliberated for hours, discussing the demonstrated knowledge of the problems, the research methodologies, the ability to think critically about the situation, and their use of appropriate sources. The score was extremely close, and Ernesto and the other judges said it was one of the most difficult decisions they had ever come to.
“You see, what really pushed them ahead,” Ernesto said of the winning team, “was their fluidity – their ability to answer questions, and their preparedness to know what questions we were going to ask before we ever did. That is why we selected Inglemoor to be this year’s winner, by one single point.” The final score was 52:51, proving just how strong the competition was.
Stay tuned to see more about Ingelmoor’s journey to the East Coast and to learn more about how you can participate in next year’s Euro Challenge!