Nalanda students shine at ThinkQuest competition
WASHINGTON - Four high school students who attend Nalanda College in
Colombo, Sri Lanka, were honoured at a reception at the residence of Sri
Lankan Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya last week after they received a
1st prize in an international competition sponsored by Oracle, the giant
American computer company.
"This is quite an achievement, and I wish to personally congratulate
each of you for your hard work and your accomplishments as individuals
and as a group," Ambassador Wickramasuriya told the students and Nalanda
College alumni who live in the United States.
"It goes without saying that you have made both Sri Lanka and Nalanda
College very proud."
The students - Isuru Kusumal Rajapakse, Sakuntha Devaka Gunarathna,
Umesh Prabushitha Jayasingha, Viraj Madusanka Kodithuwakku - were
accompanied by their coach, Upali Jayantha Karawita.
The ThinkQuest Competition, sponsored by the Oracle Education
Foundation, "engages students to solve a problem using their technology,
critical thinking, and communication skills," according to the
The Nalanda students' project, entitled "Hope," developed an
educational game to rebuild a village following a war. Participants must
earn money by farming and mining to repair damaged public facilities.
The four Nalanda students were one of 27 winning teams that were
selected from among 7,603 teams. Countries represented by winners also
included China, Great Britain, Greece, India, Indonesia, Maldives,
Moldova, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan
and the United States. Winners are flown to Oracle's San Francisco
headquarters at the company's expense and awarded laptop computers.
The reception was attended by a number of Old Nalandians in the
United States, as well as by members of the Sri Lankan community.
The students' work, Ambassador Wickramasuriya said, "Is just one
example among many in Sri Lanka. I am happy that you have made it
possible for Americans to see just how talented people from Sri Lanka