VAST Activities: Debate

Every Friday, scholars practice their public speaking skills in the Debate Activity. This semester, the scholars decided to focus on the issue of gun control with the question, “Should gun control laws be passed in the US?”. The scholars were divided into 2 opposing teams to debate this question. Each scholar had a turn to take the floor and persuade the audience to choose their side. Some scholars talked about guns in the Poughkeepsie community, some remembered national tragedies like the school shooting in Newtown, and others related gun control laws to video games and the violence they see on their TV screens. They learned a lot about forming an argument, supporting it with strong evidence, and presenting it to an audience. They also had a lot of fun sharing their opinions and learning from their peers.


Avalon and Lucas share their ideas with the group

Avalon presents her ideas to the group


It's Lucas's turn to argue his side

It’s Lucas’s turn to argue his side


The rest of the group watches in suspense

The rest of the group watches and is ready to cheer on their team


Thank you to our mentors Nathan and Sarah who ran the Debate Activity this semester. They did a wonderful job getting the scholars excited to argue and talk about current events. When the scholars were stuck or didn’t know what to say, they had ideas ready to get them started. They made sure every scholar had the opportunity to speak in front of the group and, when a scholar was too shy, they would support and encourage them to give it a try. Thank you, Nathan and Sarah, for teaching us so much about debating policy issues.



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