Los Alamos High School Advances In International Debate Competition

LAHS News:

Students from Los Alamos High School have advanced to the “Top 32” round of the International Public Policy Forum (IPPF).


Sponsored by the Brewer Foundation and New York University, the IPPF is the first and only debate competition that gives high school students around the world the opportunity to engage in written and oral debates on issues of public policy.


By advancing, the students remain eligible to win a $10,000 grand prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to the IPPF Finals in New York City April 2.


“These students have distinguished themselves in this unique test of research, writing and advocacy skills,” said William A. Brewer III, chairman of the Brewer Foundation and a founder of the IPPF. “They now advance to the Round of 32 – another step closer to the IPPF Finals.”


This year, hundreds of teams submitted qualifying round essays affirming or negating the IPPF topic, “Resolved: Genetically modified organisms are essential to global food security.” Those essays were reviewed by a committee, which determined the “Round of 64” teams based on the overall quality of each 2,800-word essay.


In November, the “Round of 64” teams then began a single-elimination, written debate competition. Each team was assigned a position (affirmative or negative) and then volleyed papers back and forth with another team via email. A panel of judges reviewed the essays and selected the winning teams. In that round, Los Alamos High School advanced over Carlsbad High School from Carlsbad, California.


The “Top 32” round begins immediately. Los Alamos High School will compete against Bob Jones High School from Madison, Ala. The top 32 teams represent schools from 19 U.S. states. The teams come from five countries, including the United States, Slovenia, and China.


The prevailing teams will be announced Jan. 26, and will compete in the “Sweet 16” round. On Feb. 29, the “Elite 8” teams will be announced. Those teams will travel to New York City on an all-expenses-paid trip to the IPPF Finals in New York City. The Finals will take place April 2, 2016, at the Harold Pratt House.

The IPPF Finals give students the opportunity to participate in oral debates in front of some of the world’s  foremost experts in debate, business, law and politics. The winning team will take home the “Brewer Cup” and a $10,000 grand prize.


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