The Big Questions Debate: Divine Child 2016
September 22, 2016
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On Wednesday September 21, Divine Child hosted its first ever Big Questions debate. The Big Questions debate is a one-on-one debate style where students go head to head in answering the questions posed in the categories of philosophy, science, and religion. In these debates, each student makes an opening presentation in support of their side of the topic. The opening statements are then followed up by rebuttals from each side, in then a consolidation piece in response to the rebuttal arguments. To close out the argument, students will then give a two-minute rationale speech, where they have one last chance to say their piece, and sum up all major points that they are trying to get across.
At the end of the round, a panel of judges are asked to decide who did the better debating. They do not want judges deciding based off of how much you agree with the points being made by one side or the other, but rather which student debated better. Judges are required to state their opinion on the topic, so that they are aware of preconceived bias. Each judge is also asked to write down reasons why each person is deserving to win, so they are not blinded by favoritism.
On Wednesday, Divine Child tried its hand at hosting a Big Questions debate. Students gathered to debate and practice their skills in an argumentative form. With a panel of judges consisting of librarian and head judge Serge Danielson-Francois, Latin teacher Erich Heiden, theology teacher Marc Sierra, and debate team captain as well as Salutatorian for the class of 2017, Ella Lawson, a unanimous winner was decided. Samantha Schuck was the overall winner of the debate, with Arron McDonald as a runner-up. The two semi-finalists were Noah Hayden and Jacob Kendrick. The first ever Big Questions debate was a great success at Divine Child High School. Another competition is expected to be hosted at the school before the end of the year, with the hope of other schools joining in the competition as well.