Brain Brats: The 'Bright' Brats
When talking to the 21 successful brain brats, one can undoubtedly feel the presence of an air of intelligence, diligence and surely, confidence. Be it the third grader or the eighth, they all have what it needs to be champions -- smartness and the right attitude. And with such awesome combination, one is bound to be noticed. “Do you know that kid is a brain brat champion?” or “Do not bully him, he is smarter than us!” are just few of the things that these 'brats' might now hear about themselves. Class 3 winner, Raguib Muhtasim Sakif from Summerfield International School says, “I love the attention my school mates are giving me since the championship. I already feel like a hero.”
On March 12, 2011, 21 students from classes 1 to 10, made their way past 210 participants towards triumph and fame at the grand finale of the Brain Brats Competition jointly organised by The Daily Star and Champs 21. On April 19, 2011, these 21 talents were invited to the Daily Star office to celebrate their success and to congratulate them on their win. At the programme, the 21 'brats' shared their learning techniques, experiences during and after the competition. While some studied the Britannica or Wikipedia, others sought the help of the knowledge corner at www.champs21.com, the British Council library or simply took help from their genius friends. However, among the 21 talents, one bright lad thought otherwise, who during a discussion said that the first step to preparing himself for the competition was to believe in himself.
Russell T Ahmed and the 'brats', brainstorming new ideas. Photo : Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo
The 'brats' said that they did not only carry home their goodies, but a bag full of experiences too. They learnt important things like time management and felt that digital exams are more fun than written exams and that Science and Mathematics are actually cool! Not just for the students, it was a learning experience for the parents too. Those who thought internet was a waste of time for their kids now know the good side of it.
The after-competition experiences are even more overwhelming. Classes 9 & 10 winner, Prodhi Manisha from Sunbeams International School shared, “I recently applied to a renowned college in Hong Kong. When I mentioned that I am a Brain Brats Champion, they treated me very differently and I ended up getting a scholarship at the college.”
While brainstorming new ideas for the competition, Russell T Ahmed, the CEO of Team Creative, proposed the idea of students taking an online test on www.champs21.com everyday, where upon, the scores would add for a month and the one to score the highest would be awarded. When asked what they preferred for awards, some students wanted music or movie CDs, comics and sports kits, while others preferred rare books, a fast internet connection and dinner coupons. An addition of educational games, number puzzles to the online tests was also suggested by the students.
The 'brats' and their parents. Photo : Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo
After the interaction session, came the most awaited segment of the programme -- handing out the winning air tickets (Dhaka - Kuala Lampur - Dhaka) to the seven bright champions of the Brain Brats Competition -- Class 3- Winner: Raguib Muhtasim Sakif (Summerfield International School), Class 5- Winner: Soumyajit Guha (South Breeze), Class 6- Winner: Mohaimenul Islam (Oxford International School), Class 7- Winner: Khondker Faraz Shafiq (Play Pen), Class 8- Winner: Shakib Mahmud (Bangladesh International School) and Classes 9 & 10- Winner: Prodhi Manisha (Sunbeams School).
The champs received their awards from Mahfuz Anam, Editor and Publisher of the Daily Star, with sparkling eyes and a proud smile. Addressing the bright 'brats' Mr Mahfuz Anam said, “I encourage you to speak your mind and share your thoughts, but making sure of not hurting others' feelings. Be curious to know. Ask questions and seek answers so that your mind is open to diverse knowledge.” He considered it a privilege to meet such bright minds and emphasised on the fact that students should not only engage themselves in studies and online quizzes, but should play sports, listen to music, paint or even dance to keep themselves fit and lively.
But what about the ones who could not make it to KL? Second Runner-up Rodsy Modhurima of Class 8 from DPS STS School said, “I was not serious enough during the competition. Now that I have grown the habit of studying online and regularly visit the Champs 21 study portal, I will be more serious for the next Brain Brats Competition and make sure of people acknowledging me as a Champion.”
The programme ended with a photo session of all the proud 21 'brats' along with their parents. Surely these young and brilliant minds are a true reflection of confidence, talent and our future.