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THE  MISSOURI  STATE
GREAT  SCIENCE  DEBATE

Recognition – Awards – Trophies – Cash Prizes 

The 2015 Topic
Appropriate vs. Not Appropriate

Resolved:  That it is appropriate for the United States Government to mandate childhood vaccinations to prevent serious diseases.

The competition will be a traditional style of debate as established by the Maryville University College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication. If you are interested in voicing your opinion to a listening audience and enjoy competing for recognition, awards, trophies and cash prizes, then this debate is the challenge for you and your team. If your school’s team is chosen, you will go brain-to-brain and mouth-to-mouth with the competing school as part of the JSEHS program. The winning team will be awarded $700 for their science department and the runner-up team will receive $300.

How To Be Part Of The Debate:

  • Create a team of 4 students (grades 10-12) with 2 alternates from your school.  Alternates are strongly recommended as your team’s insurance in case of sickness or unforeseen circumstances.  A finalist team with less than four team members will not be able to debate.  An alternate finalist team for each side will be named beforehand and should be prepared to enter the debate on short notice.   
  • At least one member of each team must submit a research paper to the Symposium for competition.
  • All team members must be registered to attend the Symposium.
  • All team members must complete the application form on the website.
  • Deadline to apply is February 13, 2015.

How Are Final Teams Selected?

Teams will submit a video by February 28th to jsehs@maryville.edu in AVI format or in a secured YouTube video. This will replace the need for a “run-off” the night before the debate.

  • Videos must contain:
    • Introduction of the team and each member
    • Each member’s presentation (3-5 minutes max) in the order the team has established.
      • If you click on the debate application you will see a place to explain the five major elements of your argument and below that, a brief outline of your team’s overall argument. Use this as the guide for developing your video.
      • First explain your overall argument and then allow each team member to have a turn explaining a major element (or two) of your argument.
    • A panel of judges from Maryville University will:
      • Evaluate each individual’s performance for presentation skills, logic, flow of thought and contribution to team strategy
      • Compare/contrast the team members’ effectiveness
      • Select the final teams to compete in Saturday’s competition
      • Final team selections will be announced Friday, March 6, 2015. Email notice will be sent to teachers and all students who applied.

The Debate:

  • Teams of four members from two schools will be chosen to represent each side of the resolution.
  • Time limits will be alternating five-minute speeches by each student with two-minute cross examinations by the opposing team.
  • Thirty minutes will be allowed for audience questions at the end of the presentations.
  • The winning team will be selected by the audience and a panel of professional judges.
  • The Department of Communication at Maryville University will determine the rules and guidelines, oversee the judging and administer the contest. Decision of the judges is final.
  • Judging criteria is listed on this scoring sheet.

DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 13, 2015

Sponsored by:
Maryville University
College of Arts and Sciences
U.S.Army Research Office
Office of Naval Research
Air Force Office of Scientific Research
Sigma-Aldrich Corporation


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