The Russo-Ukraine war was a highly chosen topic because many students had prior knowledge about the topic in the news. In total, there were 69 contestants from all three divisions compared to the average of ~37.4 students per 3 task forces, or 23 students per division compared to the average of ~12.5 students per round. There were also subtopics that we had to write about specifically, which was one thing we were graded about. The 5 subtopics were:

  1. Food production, exports, and the coming global food security crisis
  2. Impact of Sanctions on Local and Global Supply Chains
  3. Geographic Relevance of Donbas and Luhansk
  4. EU Management of Humanitarian Conflict 
  5. Environmental Impact of War


We all started by presenting our subtopics. We learned many things by listening to the people who didn’t have a topic that we had. I never knew that there is a food crisis in Northern Africa, Eastern Africa, and the Middle East thanks to the war (there is a reason why Ukraine is called the Breadbasket of Europe, and Russia is the world’s largest exporter of wheat), or that burying too many people who died in the war is causing pollution to the soil. 

When everyone was finished presenting, the moderators assigned us into 4 groups to discuss about the topics we were just given. They carefully divided as such that the subtopic we presented and the topic we were given did not relate to each other at all. When our time to brainstorm was over, each group presented their amendments. For example, to show civil resistance, one group recommended that Ukrainian should be taught as a language lesson, and Ukrainian landmarks and tradition should be preserved. It is a very strange phenomenon, but it actually works, and has many times in the past.

Afterwards, we wrote all our ideas on the whiteboard. This is called a resolution. Anyone can point out what they think is wrong and state why. Then, everyone can vote to change that. In our room, no one went against our current resolution, and that turned it into a final resolution. It ended when our moderators snapped a picture of our resolution and us next to our resolution. 

 Congratulations to Sanjay Devabhaktuni (1st), Viktor Napolitano (2nd), and Arjun Jangi (3rd) for coming out top in the elementary division.

The aces of the middle school division are Matthew Skarin (1st), Sahil Neelimandu (2nd), and Anish Raja (3rd).

Finally, the high school division and the experts of the league are, Dean Cardner (1st), William Gong (2nd), and Bhargav Kuchibhotla (3rd).

Text and pictures:
Sai Pranav Venkatesan
Elementary School