IBM has created a computer that can debate itself! In an event at Cambridge University in England, the computer debated the topic of whether artificial intelligence would do more harm than good. Sounds like an interesting topic!
This article argues that high school musicals are as important as sports.
What do you think?
Some of you have been asking… what exactly counts as “performing arts?” Merriam-Webster defines the term as “types of art (such as music, dance, or drama) that are performed for an audience.” So… is debate a performing art? Depends who you ask, we guess…
Today is Election Day and there is a lot of debate going on about the 5 ballot questions that voters will decide. Even though there are only 5 questions, there are a total of 19 issues rolled into them, so even if you agree with some parts of the question, you may disagree with others, and will still have to choose either “Yes” or “No.” Is it fair? Is there a better way? Find a sample ballot online and let us know what you think!
Debate topics always seem to come back around. Not too long ago, our debaters took sides on the issue of whether or not college athletes should be paid, and today California passed a bill allowing them to do just that. The issue is far from settled, with the NCAA urging the governor not to sign the legislation into law. We will be watching to see how it unfolds in California and the rest of the nation. Here is an article and video clip from nbc news discussing the story.
The new school year is here and you already know… that means that the new Debate season is upon us. The workshop for teachers is on October 3, so make sure that your teachers sign up. Then, get your team together, recruit any new debate superstars in your school, and start brainstorming the topics that you would like to debate this year. Send in your ideas and let’s get this season underway!
Enjoy this video of the 226M Pride debate team as they work together and celebrate victories.
Congratulations to the 2019 District 75 Debate Champions! Team photos from the live events are coming soon.
First Place: 368K Brooklyn’s Finest Debate Team
Second Place: 177Q All Stars
Third Place: 226M Pride
Honorable Mention: 751M MSCD Eagles
First Place: 751M MSCD Eagle Scouts
Second Place: 25R Panthers
Third Place: 75Q Deep Debaters
Honorable Mention: 352X BX Debates All Day
Download and print these posters to generate “sizzle and ‘xcitement” in your school!
Not all Puerto Ricans think that statehood is the best solution to the island’s problems. Here, a Vice News piece from 2017 explores a street art collective and their views on how Puerto Rico should move forward:
Our last debate topic invited teams to delve into the details of what makes a state a state. Is it the size of the population? The area of land? Must a state include both urban and rural sections? What about cities that are larger than some states? What does it mean to be a “territory?”
Well, after getting our toes wet with the D.C. statehood topic, we’ve moved on to the final topic of the year, which asks teams to delve even deeper into the issue by considering the case of statehood for Puerto Rico. Are any of the arguments the same? Are there other or better alternatives than statehood (ahem, con side)? What do the people of Puerto want? What does the constitution say? With just about 3 weeks left to prepare, the teams are knee deep in their research. We wish them luck and look forward to hearing the arguments and evidence in this Championship round!
This year’s Championship teams have been announced! Competing in the online competition this year for Middle School are the 75Q Deep Debaters vs 352X Bx Debates All Day. In the High School Competition are the 226M Pride vs the 751 MSCD Debaters. Competing in-person this year for the 1st and 2nd place titles in Middle School are the 25R Panthers vs the 751 MSCD Eagle Scouts. In the High School match, 368K Brooklyn’s Finest Debate Team vs the 177Q All Stars. There are just four debates left in the season. Legggoooo!
And what an opener it was! The 373K Fire Debaters brought the heat (naturally!) for the con side, but in the end it was the 226M Pride that won over the judges with their arguments for DC statehood. We saw a few of the other high school teams logged in to check out the competition, so we expect the momentum to continue. The Final Four is within reach and the 2019 trophies have just arrived. Keep up the great work, teams!
As we ease (dance? run? skip?) into Round 3, we are reminded of a quote by former president Teddy Roosevelt: “The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.” In this case, the past is Round 2 and the future is Round 3 of our debate competition! Check out this fun video reflection from the MSCD Debaters from 751M as they ponder their past performances and look to the future!
The students of 23Q at Lifeline research and write thoughtful essays prior to their debates. Here are pro and con essays from the 2018 1st round debate, “Should students be required to wear school uniforms?”
The third topic of our debate season is “Washington D.C. should be a state.” It is a tough call. Already there is a Washington state over on the west coast. If Washington D.C. were to become our 51st state, what would we name it? New Washington? What if I sent a letter to my sister in Seattle, and it wound up in the Potomac River? So many questions…
Round 2 wrapped this morning with another very close debate between the 176’ers from the Bronx and Queens’ own 177Q All Stars on the topic of metal detectors in schools. Since Debate waits for no one, the new topic was just announced. It is: Washington, D.C. should be a state.
Round 3 begins the week of March 18. The new schedule and match-ups will be posted soon. Enjoy your vacation, everyone!
March 1 is National Speech and Debate Education Day. This is a great opportunity to plan something special at your school to raise awareness about speech and debate. Think about a speech competition or a non-competitive event where kids can show off their skills for an audience.
There are tons of resources online for finding famous speeches. It might also be a nice way to wrap up Black History/ Black Futures month or set off Women’s History month. If there is enough interest, we will open up the online debate room for students to share.