The Debate Experience

Debate is an academic, competitive team activity involving practices, tournaments, and championships like any athletic sport.

In our debate program, students are paired into partnerships (2-person teams) with a classmate at the same level of competitive mastery.

In tournaments hosted during after-school hours and weekends, students debate 3 or more rounds, switching from the affirmative (pro) to negative (con) side of each resolution. After each round, students are given verbal feedback on their presentation and argumentation skills, so they know what to improve next time.

Each tournament is an opportunity to earn two types of awards:

  • Team awards – Based on the partnership’s win-loss record
  • Speaker awards –  Based on the amount of points each individual competitor earns for their argumentation and public speaking skills

Through wins and losses, students gain resilience and learn how to strategize for a better outcome in the next round. Trusted partners and coaches help students improve and gain victory.

How It Works

Key Strengths of Debate



Extensively researched & evaluated – debate moves the needle on test scores, GPAs, grad rates, advanced classes and more

Skill Building


Listening, note taking, team-work, research, and thinking critically are all important skills for education, and for life!

Power of Losing

Power of Losing

Innovators and entrepreneurs must get comfortable with risk taking and failure. Every debater loses, receives feedback, and jumps right in the next round of competition.

Content Knowledge

Content Knowledge

Debaters go in-depth on the inner-workings of government, economics, science policy, law, philosophy and social movements

Bring urban debate to your school

Contact Amy Cram Helwich at to
learn more about how to bring these outcomes and more
to your school through debate.

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