Greenwich High School advances in global debate competition

Hundreds of debate teams from around the world entered the 2015-16 International Public Policy Forum (IPPF) competition, but only 16 remain – including Greenwich High School. If Greenwich advances this round, the team will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the IPPF Finals in New York City on April 2, 2016.

Sponsored by the Brewer Foundation and New York University, the IPPF is the first and only competition that gives high school students from 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. The Greenwich High School team is the only team from Connecticut to advance this round.

“These students have demonstrated a command of a very complex and timely topic,” says William A. Brewer III, partner at Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors and a founder of the IPPF. “They have emerged from one of the most competitive fields we’ve ever had – and will now compete for a chance to win a trip to New York City for the IPPF Finals.”

This year, 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 top 64 teams based on the overall quality of each 2,800-word essay.

In November, the top 64 teams 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 for the next six weeks. A panel of judges reviewed the essays and selected the winning teams. In the “Round of 64,” Greenwich advanced over Mexico Senior High School from Mexico, Missouri. In the “Top 32” round, Greenwich advanced over Hamilton High School (Team A) from Chandler, Arizona.

The “Sweet 16” round is now underway. Greenwich is competing against Bob Jones High School from Madison, Alabama. The top 16 teams represent schools from 13 U.S. states and China.

On February 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 on April 2 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.

The “Sweet 16” teams are:

Bellaire High School, Bellaire, Texas

Bob Jones High School, Madison, Alabama

The Davidson Academy of Nevada, Reno, Nevada

Durham Academy, Durham, North Carolina

East Mountain High School, Sandia Park, New Mexico

East Ridge High School, Woodbury, Minnesota

Greenwich High School, Greenwich, Connecticut

Hamilton High School (Team B), Chandler, Arizona

Hathaway Brown School, Shaker Heights, Ohio

La Cañada High School, La Cañada, California

Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, Maryland

Plano Senior High School, Plano, Texas

Shanghai American School, Shanghai, China

St. Paul Academy and Summit School, St. Paul, Minnesota

Union High School, Camas, Washington

Woodward Academy, College Park, Georgia

About the IPPF and the Brewer Foundation:

The IPPF was founded in 2001 by the Brewer Foundation (formerly Bickel & Brewer Foundation), and is now jointly administered with New York University. The program is available to all high schools around the world – public and private – for free. The IPPF is endorsed by leading forensic agencies, such as the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues, the International Debate Education Association, the Impact Coalition, Associated Leaders of Urban Debate Leagues, and the National Debate Coaches Association. The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed the IPPF on the NASSP Advisory List of Student Contests and Activities every year since 2012.

The Brewer Foundation is a private, non-profit organization funded by companies, individuals and the national litigation firm of Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors. With offices in New York and Dallas, the Foundation has achieved widespread recognition for its efforts to create, fund and manage a variety of educational outreach programs.

Visit the IPPF at ippfdebate.com, facebook.com/ippfdebate, or on Twitter at @IPPF1.

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