Each team debates three times, on motions across all the subjects, from policy to poetry. You may be arguing whether parents should have access to surveillance cameras at schools—or whether women make better superheroes. Debate is your chance to apply all that you’ve learned to make the most persuasive case you can. And, win or not, after each debate, you’ll give the other team feedback on how to improve.
Each of you will speak up to 4 minutes. But first, you’ll have 15 minutes to research your argument, with full access to the Internet. Use your time—and choose your sources—wisely!
Two-thirds of our students have never debated before; over half are ESL learners. The rest sign up because they’re debaters. For new debaters, it’s a great introduction; for experienced debaters, it’s a challenging new style.
Sample motions from 2014:
- Resolved: That parents should have the right to implant GPS trackers in their children.
- Resolved: That the prefect system is good for students.
- Resolved: That the world needs more ninjas.
- Resolved: That Pi would make a good spy.
There are winners and there are more winners. After each round, winning teams face other winners—and non-winners other non-winners. The result: the teams with the least experience have the opportunity to gain it, and everyone becomes a better debater by the end of the day.
Every team in the theater. Every team with a clicker. Every question harder than the one before. Your team will work together to solve analytic questions and multimedia challenges. Click your answers before time runs out, and don’t be surprised if you’re asked to connect a poem you studied to a clip from The Big Bang Theory. Bowlzinga.
It’s loud. You might even hear a team shout the wrong answer— hoping you’ll click it.
It's strategic. What will you and your teammates do when you disagree?
Remember, it's not the first team to answer correctly that gets all the credit. You’re all racing the clock. But, the clock is fast and the stakes are high.
Debate with the power of your pen.
You’ll be given six statements, each from a different subject area, and asked to choose one to argue for or against. You’ll first have 30 minutes to prepare with your teammates, then an hour by yourself to compose the most persuasive essay possible, then 15 more minutes to work together at the end. Here’s the catch: each member of your team has to choose a different topic. Bring straws.
It’s multiple choice, so make multiple choices. The Challenge looks like any other test, but with an alpaca-powered twist: you can mark more than one answer per question. The fewer you mark, the more points you can earn if you’re right. (Yes, that means you can finally guess C and D... and also A, B, and E.) Apply your knowledge of the six subjects successfully and you can win medals in one, two, or all of them.
You’ll soon discover what all World Scholars do: that even if you think you’re an expert in science, you might win a medal in the arts, and that the best way to prepare for a test that touches on everything is to talk through it all with your team, day by day.
Play your cards right, and you could earn enough medals to warrant a neck brace.