FAQ - College of Arts and Letters - Stevens Institute Technology


Q: Is it possible to bring more than one team?
A: It is possible, but depends on the number of applications. Please indicate on your application whether you are interested in this.

Q: What happens if we have to cancel our participation?
A: Schools should indicate as soon as possible whether their participation is still pending or not, or whether at a certain point they might be forced to withdraw. Withdrawing from the competition without prior notice causes serious problems for the organization of the event. Each team is assigned another school?s team to debate, so that the withdrawal ultimately harms other students.

Q: Can students of all ages and levels compete?
A: Yes, there are no limitations, except for the fact that students have to be enrolled in high school (no alumni).

Q: Is the event for honors students only?
A: No.

Q: What background should students have?
A: This cannot be said in advance. The cases will be chosen from different fields, and they definitely should be of a general social interest. Therefore, any background should allow students to compete.

Q: Should teams be prepared for one of the cases, or will they have to compete in all four cases that are sent out?
A: All four cases that will be sent to the participating teams will be part of the debate, two in the first round, and the other two in the second round. The case to discuss will be announced at the beginning of the teams? presentations.

Q: How much preparation time is recommended for a team before the competition?
A: There seems to be no rule for this; in the past, different teams have done it differently with equal success.

Q: Do students compete individually or are all answers done as a team?
A: The competition is among teams. Teams are free to decide in which order their members speak. There also is no rule as to whether all members of a team have to speak.

Q: Is the initial seven minute presentation a written paper that can be read, or just bulleted items on cards that can be referred to, or completely spoken?
A: This is up to the team. Keep in mind, however, that the competition is about engaging/discussing with others, therefore teams should be prepared to speak freely.

Q: Is this a debate in which each team will be asked to take a specific side of an issue?
A: No, it is no pro/con debate. Students present their analysis of the problem and their solution. Competition is on how well a case is presented and how convincing the solutions are.

Q: What can students bring into the classroom with them? Is everything presented from memory or are they allowed to bring in notes, sources, etc.?
A: Students are definitely allowed to bring in the sources they need. The presentations, however, should not be given with PowerPoint, as this might give an advantage over the other team.

Q: When students present their case are they speaking at a podium or are they having a discussion with one another in a more informal manner?
A: Debates will be held in Stevens classrooms, and there is no dress code required.

Q: Will teams have code names so that the judges won't know which schools are competing or will the teams be listed?
A: There will be no code names.

Q: Will the competition be videotaped?
A: There are no provisions made for this. If you wish to tape the competition, this has to be discussed with the other team.