CLARKS SUMMIT — Three students from Abington Heights High School have advanced to the Round of 64 in the International Public Policy Forum (IPPF). Sponsored by the Brewer Foundation and New York University, the IPPF is the first and only international debate competition that gives high school students the opportunity to engage in written and oral debates on issues of public policy.
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 based on the overall quality of each 2,800-word essay.
The top 64 teams represent schools from 24 U.S. states and 16 countries, including Switzerland, Ghana, and Japan. Advancing teams will now participate in a single-elimination, written debate tournament.
The Abington Heights team of juniors Tyler Kusma, Neel Mehta and Noah Musto will face the SOS-Hermann Gmeiner International College from Tema, Ghana, in the next round of written competition.
The teams will volley a series of essays back and forth via e-mail. A panel of judges will review the essays in the order they are presented and the winning schools will advance to the Top 32 round. This process continues as the teams are narrowed down from 32, to 16 and, finally, to just the Elite 8 teams.
The top eight teams earn an all-expenses-paid trip to the IPPF Finals in New York City, held April 2, 2016, at the Harold Pratt House, home of the Council on Foreign Relations.
The IPPF Finals give students the opportunity to participate in oral debates in front of some of the world’foremost experts in debate, business, law and politics. The winning team will take home the “Brewer Cup” and a $10,000 grand prize.