Explorer West Prepares Students for Final Debate Competition

Explorer West 7th Grader Kyle Hole

Explorer West 7th grade debater Kyle has confident “body language” which includes a smile!

On Saturday, January 23rd, 2016, fifteen Explorer West Middle School students and ten students from area schools – Bush, Overlake, Evergreen, Seattle Country Day, and Soundview – met at Explorer West to prepare for the final debate competition of the school year.

Coaches from the Climb the Mountain Debate Foundation led the lively debate clinic, where students discussed topics ranging from police body cameras to STEM education. “The clinic was so informative. I grew as a debater and as a thinker,” said Elsa, a 7th grader at Explorer West. “I hope I can attend another clinic like this one!”

Students learned strategies making rebuttal arguments, effective note-taking and weighing out all the impacts in a debate.
From left to right, 6th graders James Cecil, Sam McGee, and Andreas Derickson

Explorer West 6th graders debaters James, Sam, and Andreas give the clinic a thumbs up.

“The students who attended the clinic should be commended. They gave up half their weekend to improve their critical thinking, research and public speaking skills,” said Jon Howland, Explorer West math teacher and debate coach. “It is amazing to work at a school where students are fired up about becoming better citizens.”


Explorer West 8th graders Siri and Anastasia and 7th grader Elsa polished up their debating skills.