Arin with David Madden, Founder and Director of International Academic Competitions

Arin Parsa is a Young Mensan, sixth grader from San Jose, with a fiery curiosity, voracious appetite for knowledge, and uncanny recall. Arin loves buzzer-based academic tournaments such as NAQT and IAC that have with pyramidal questions and reward players with depth of knowledge.

Arin has had a spectacular year. From September through March, Arin 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, Arin became NAQT’s quiz bowl champion for middle school, and later in the month, played solo at IAC’s Varsity History Bowl in Arlington. Arin made upper bracket amongst 144 teams comprised of 11th and 12th graders: an unprecedented feat by a 6th grader, and received an honorable mention from David Madden, Founder and Director of IAC (@3:40 min mark). As the academic year drew to a close, Arin swept away sixth grade division awards at Chicago by a huge margin!

International Academic Competitions (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 1500 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.

Arin 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, Arin 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.

Outside of academics, Arin enjoys being a boy scout and devoting time to community projects. Arin 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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