Parsa Wins Big

An Indian American sixth grader from California, Arin Parsa (right), seen here with International Academic Competitions founder David Madden, won multiple International Academic Competition national titles history, humanities and science during the June 7 through 10 competition in Chicago, and was recently accepted into an elite workshop for aspiring historians. (photo provided)

In a rare feat, Arin Parsa, an Indian American sixth grader and a Young Mensan from California, won national titles in history, humanities, science and overall academics at the recently held, four-day long academic tournaments in Chicago organized by International Academic Competitions from June 7-10.

IAC is a consortium of competitions for primary and secondary students operating in over 25 countries around the world. Every year, students take online qualifying exams in areas of science, history and geography, following which they are invited to regional competitions. Regional tournaments feature buzzer-based “bee” tournaments for individual students as well as “bowl” tournaments for a team of students participating together. Buzzer-based format rewards students for their depth of knowledge, fast recall, and keeping calm under pressure.

Winners of regional tournaments across the U.S are then invited to a four-day long national event in June as the academic year closes. 

This year, about 1,500 national qualifying students from all over the U.S. competed in various elementary and middle divisions in a four-day long marathon event at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago from June 7 through June 10.

Parsa participated in bee events and played as a solo-player in the bowl events against teams of up to four students in the sixth grade division. 

In a rare feat, the young Indian American student repeated history where one student has gone on to win national titles in more than one subject by a tremendous margin and was crowned the overall academic champion in his division.

Shiva Oswal from Cupertino, California, was the first student to have accomplished this feat in 2016. These phenomenal achievements demonstrate that when students combine true passion for learning with dedication, and enjoy themselves, they can accomplish anything they set their minds to, a news release said.

Looking back at the year, Parsa has had a spectacular 2019 in both IAC and NAQT tournaments. From September through March, he remained undefeated as the highest scoring NAQT quiz bowl middle school player, and won California IAC regionals for history bee & bowl, academic bee & bowl, and science bee.

In early April, Parsa became NAQT’s quiz bowl champion for middle school, and later in the month, played solo at IAC’s Varsity History Bowl in Arlington.

He made the upper bracket amongst 144 teams comprised of 11th and 12th graders, and received an honorable mention from David Madden, founder and director of IAC.

And, following suit, Parsa swept away sixth grade division awards at Chicago by a huge margin, the release said.

Usha Parsa, Arin’s mother, says that the academic competitions from IAC truly help students ignite a passion for lifelong learning, open their minds to new subject areas, gain confidence, develop deep friendships nationally and internationally, and also aid in their applications to prestigious enrichment opportunities. 

In addition to the impressive IAC wins, Arin has also been accepted at an elite research workshop for budding historians to be held at Columbia University, according to information provided to India-West.

The workshop will be held over the summer under the guidance of research scholars and historians. 

Outside of academics, Arin enjoys being a boy scout and devoting time to community projects. The youngster is looking forward to a summer of travel, camping in the wilderness, environment cleanliness projects, and volunteering his time reading to younger children furthering the open program by Mensa for fostering reading excellence.

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