Sunday, August 9, 2015 — MS 50 partnered with the New York City Urban Debate League (NYCUDL) and the Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI) to host a summer debate institute for middle school students last week.
Students researched the merits and risks of animal cloning and participated in a camp tournament on Friday.
Middle School 50 debate coach, Matthew Mason served as lead instructor and was assisted by a volunteer from the Bronx Science debate team.
The summer debate institute was designed as a way to stem summer reading loss among middle school students. Research has shown that middle school students lose more than two months in reading achievement over the summer. At the same time, MSQI recently completed a study of the effects of competitive debate on middle school reading comprehension growth that concluded that students who participate in competitive debate had reading comprehension growth at twice the national average.
The MS 50 summer debate institute was designed to use the benefits of debate to combat the negative effects of summer reading loss. Middle School teachers from around NYC also attended a “coaches training” at the MS 50 debate institute, learning the nuts and bolts of starting a competitive debate team from NYCUDL Program Director Aubrey Semple. MS 50 student, Edison, took both top speaker and top team, but all participants were winners, as they spent over 25 hours engaged in a rigorous, text-based, Common Core aligned activity.