Masters of persuasion

K-State helps high school students sharpen skills for competitive debate season

Every team needs a workout, and the Kansas State University Debate Team helps high school students get in their reps for a strong season.

“This camp is an excellent way for us to serve and engage Kansans while also acting as a fantastic recruiting tool by showcasing K-State to some of the brightest students,” said Alex McVey, assistant professor and K-State Debate director.

Every August, K-State Debate hosts a week-long camp, bringing high school students to the Manhattan campus to sharpen their skills, prepare for the upcoming season and experience college-level competition.

This camp has quickly become a cornerstone for young debaters.

“Kansas has an exceptionally strong debate tradition. We want to keep it that way, supporting this educational opportunity while also letting students get to know our program,” McVey said.

One of the debate topics focuses on U.S. federal policy related to economic inequality.

Campers benefit from guest lectures by K-State professors Dr. Nathaniel Birkhead (political science) and Dr. Daniel Kuester (economics).

A camp tournament provides debaters hands-on feedback from K-State faculty and student lab leaders to hone their debate prowess.

“Two of our camp alumni went on to win the 3-2-1A Kansas State Debate High School Championship,” McVey said. “This camp equips students with the tools they need to excel. We’re excited to see what these students achieve in the upcoming season,”

K-State Debate’s outreach continues with Wildcat Warmup Clinics at the K-State Olathe campus and Manhattan High School. These one-day events reach nearly 80 students, preparing them for the debate season.

K-State Debate also competes nationally, recently participating in a tournament at Northwestern University, where they debated U.S. nuclear weapons policy. College debate is a rigorous activity that enhances students’ problem-solving, research, and analytical skills.

K-State Debate has a storied history, including national championships in 1991, 1993 and 2011. The program welcomes competitors of all skill levels.

Curated from: K-State Debate trains high school, middle school students for upcoming season

Written by: Lilly Majors

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