Spark Scholars Academy
- Free debate workshop for Black and Latinx students
- Meets during 90-minute-long weekly lessons on Zoom
- Sessions will start in late September / early October
- Students entering grades 6-10
- Students will be able to seek extra support at weekly office hours run by varsity debaters
- Students will compete against students from other programs or schools in state-wide tournaments
- Modified Public Forum structure
- Cases, rebuttals, summary, final focus, and cross-examination, where students hone interrogation skills.
- The first tournament will be on December 5, on the resolution, “Resolved: College should be free.”
- Students will attend a topic lecture led by the instructors of each session discussing background information on the topic
- Students will be given research packets detailing common points, so that they have a foundation to expand upon during their research
- Tournaments will have entry fees of $5. Spark Scholars may be able to cover all tournament entry costs
The Spark Session
Description: for students who have no prior debate experience.
Curriculum: Students in Flame session will learn in-depth about:
- Strategies for each speech in the round
- Nuanced and effective ways to write cases
- Their cross personas — the personalities that they convey to the judge each cross-examination in the way they answer and ask questions
- Word economy — they will practice being able to craft compelling arguments in concise sentences
- Organization. Students will practice having clear organization in their speeches and planning their content in a way that best utilizes the time available
- Developing a narrative, the “story” prominent in each speech of the round that convinces the judge
the flame session
Description: for students with past debate experience (including Spark Scholars).
Curriculum: Students in Spark Session will:
- Familiarize themselves with Public Forum Debate structure
- Learn how to think quickly during cross-examinations, where they have to ask and respond to probing questions
- Practice refuting their opponents arguments and crafting their own compelling cases with the Claim, Warrant, and Impact structure.
- Use different types of responses to opponents’ arguments, including turns, de-links, and mitigation.
- Attend lessons on research skills and case-writing, as well as round strategy
- Learn to take notes quickly by “flowing” during rounds