CLARKS SUMMIT — Three students from Abington Heights High School in Clarks Summit have advanced to the Round of 32 in 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 on April 2, 2016 at the Harold Pratt House.
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 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, Abington Heights High School advanced over the SOS-Hermann Gmeiner International College from Tema, Ghana.
The Top 32 round is currently underway. The Abington Heights team of juniors Tyler Kusma, Neel Mehta and Noah Musto will compete against Shanghai American School from Shanghai, China. 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 on Jan. 26, and will compete in the Sweet 16 round. On February 29, the Elite 8 teams will be announced.
The IPPF Finals, featuring the last eight teams, 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.